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If you are already a member of the LGPS


Overview

You can look forward to your retirement with the LGPS which gives you:

A secure pension

The benefits you get when you retire are based on your membership in the scheme and on your final years pay. The pension you build up during your employment keeps pace with your pay rises. And after you retire, your pension keeps pace with cost of living increases.

Tax-free cash

You also have the option to exchange part of your pension for some tax-free cash on your retirement.

Peace of mind

Your family enjoys financial security, with immediate life cover and a pension for your husband, wife, civil partner or nominated co-habiting partner and children, in the event of your death and, if you ever become seriously ill, you could receive immediate ill-health benefits.

Early retirement

You can choose to retire from age 60 and receive your benefits immediately, although they may be reduced for early payment. Its also possible to retire from age 55 (or, possibly, from earlier than age 55 if you were in the LGPS on 31 March 2008) and receive your benefits immediately, either with your employer's consent or if you are made redundant or retired in the interests of business efficiency.

Flexible retirement

if you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position at or after age 55 (or, possibly, from earlier than age 55 if you were in the LGPS on 31 March 2008) you can, provided your employer agrees, draw some or all of your benefits built up helping you ease into retirement - although your benefits may be reduced for early payment.

Options to pay extra

Boost your pension by paying more contributions. You get tax relief on these, too.

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When you can retire

Look forward to enjoying a guaranteed package of benefits when you retire, including a pension that increases every year in line with the cost of living for the rest of your life and the option to exchange some of your pension for a tax-free cash lump sum.

  • There is scope to retire and draw your benefits from anywhere between as young as age 55, right up to the eve of your 75th birthday. In cases of ill health, there is no lower age limit at all.
  • If you were paying into the LGPS on 31 March 2008, there may be scope for you to ask to retire from as young as 55.
  • There is one important condition  to be entitled to retirement benefits you must have at least 3 months membership, or have brought in a transfer from another pension scheme, or already have a deferred benefit in the LGPS in England or Wales.

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Scheme retirement date

The Scheme's normal retirement date is age 65.


Early retirement at your request

Early retirement before age 65 is available but you may need your employers permission and your benefits may be reduced.

  • You can retire from age 55, but must have your employers permission to draw retirement benefits before age 60.
  • If you were paying into the LGPS on 31 March 2008, you may have a protected earliest retirement age.

Early retirement reductions.

  • If you choose to retire before age 65 your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced depends on how early you draw your benefits how early you retire.
  • If you were in the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early could be protected from the reduction if you are a protected member.
  • Your employer can agree to waive any reduction on compassionate grounds.

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Early retirement through redundancy or business efficiency

If your employer makes you redundant or retires you in the interests of business efficiency and you are aged 55 or over, your benefits are payable immediately without reduction.

If you were in the LGPS on 31 March 2008 you may have an earlier age when benefits can be paid on redundancy / business efficiency retirement.

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Ill-health retirement

If you have to leave work at any age due to illness you may qualify for immediate payment of your benefits if your employer, based on an opinion from an independent specially qualified doctor, is satisfied that you will be permanently unable to do your own job and that you have a reduced likelihood of being capable of obtaining gainful employment before age 65.

There are graded levels of benefit based on how likely you are to be capable of obtaining gainful employment after you leave.

The different levels of benefit are:

  • If you have no reasonable prospect of being capable of obtaining gainful employment before age 65, ill health benefits are based on the membership you would have had if you had stayed in the Scheme until age 65. 
  • If you are unlikely to be capable of obtaining gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, but you may be capable of doing so before 65 then ill health benefits are based on your membership built up to leaving plus 25% of your prospective membership from leaving to age 65.
  • If you are likely to be capable of obtaining gainful employment within 3 years of leaving, ill health benefits are based on your membership at leaving. Payment of these benefits will be stopped after 3 years, or earlier if you are in gainful employment or become capable of undertaking such employment.  
     

If you are part-time, any extra membership awarded due to ill-health retirement will be reduced to reflect your part -time hours at leaving, disregarding any reduction in hours due to your illness.  

You may have a protected level of ill- health retirement benefits.

Illness and injury allowances

If your illness is a result of an injury sustained at work or disease contracted at work, you may be entitled to an injury allowance.  This is separate from your LGPS benefits and is paid by your employer. They decide, at their discretion, how much is payable contact your employer if this applies to you.

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Late retirement

If you choose to carry on working after age 65 you will continue to pay into the LGPS, building up further benefits. You can receive your pension when you retire or you reach the eve of your 75th birthday, whichever comes first.  Also, if you retire at or after age 65 you can, if you wish, defer drawing your pension but you must draw it before age 75. If you draw your pension after age 65 your pension will be paid at an increased rate. 

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Flexible retirement

Rather than continuing in your job to 65 or beyond you may wish to consider the possibility of flexible retirement. From age 55, if you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position, and provided your employer agrees, you can draw some or all of the pension benefits you have built up - helping you ease into retirement.

  • You can still draw your wages / salary from your job on the reduced hours or grade and continue paying into the LGPS, building up further benefits in the Scheme.
  • You must have your employer's consent for the payment of your pension benefits under flexible retirement. Your election to receive benefits has to be made to your pension fund administrator.
  • If you were in the LGPS on 31 March 2008, you may have an earlier age you can ask for flexible retirement.
  • If you take flexible retirement before age 65 your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced depends on how early you draw your benefits.
  • Your employer may, however, determine not to apply all or part of any reduction.
  • If you were in the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early on flexible retirement could be protected from the reduction if you are a protected member.
    If you take flexible retirement after age 65 your benefits will be increased to reflect late payment.

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