Taking your pension

In this section you will see general information about the different types of retirements and how pension benefits are calculated. There are also links to the LGPS Member website where you will find more details on the variety of regulations that maybe applied to the calculation of your pension.

The information provided cannot cover every individual circumstance.

For more specific information on your benefits please contact us

Freedom to choose when to take your pension

Once you have met the 2 years vesting period, you can choose to retire and draw your pension at any time from age 55 and receive your benefits immediately, although they may be reduced if paid before your Normal Pension Age. The first step in this process would be to speak to your manager who will provide guidance on how to proceed. They will also provide you with a Retirement Pack.

How is my pension calculated?

For membership built up after 31 March 2014:

Every year you will build up a pension at a rate of 1/49th of the amount of pensionable pay you received in that scheme year. The amount of pension built up during the scheme year is then added to your pension account and revalued at the end of each scheme year so your pension keeps up with the cost of living.

For membership built up before 1 April 2014:

If you joined the scheme before 1 April 2014 you will also have built up benefits in the final salary scheme.

For membership built up from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014, you receive a pension of 1/60th of your final pay. There is no automatic lump sum for membership built up after March 2008, but you do have the option to exchange some of your pension for a tax-free lump sum.

For membership built up to 31 March 2008, you receive a pension of 1/80th of your final pay plus an automatic tax-free lump sum of 3 times your pension.

The national LGPS Member website contains more information to explain how your pension is calculated with regards to the various regulations that may apply to your pension entitlement.

What if I am paying extra?

If you are buying extra LGPS pension by paying:

Additional Pension Contributions (APCs): your pension will include the extra pension that you have paid for.

Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs): your pension will be credited with the extra pension that you have paid for.

If you are buying extra years in the LGPS (Added Years)

You will be credited with the extra years of membership that you have paid for and you will receive extra retirement benefits calculated on the same basis that you agreed to buy them. This extra membership is worked out using your final pay when you leave and is included in your membership built up in the scheme before April 2014.

If you are paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS (in-house AVCs)

Here are the different ways you can use your in-house AVC fund:

  • Buy an Annuity
  • Buy a Top-up LGPS Pension
  • Take your AVCs as cash
  • Buy extra membership in the LGPS
  • Transfer your AVC fund to another pension scheme or arrangement

Ill-health retirement

If ill-health retirement is granted, an immediate pension and, if applicable, a tax-free lump sum is payable. In some circumstances, benefits may be increased, depending on the level of incapacity.

When establishing a member’s incapacity to carry out his/her job, an independent occupational health physician will need to indicate a member’s likelihood of being capable of further employment. This will determine which of the 3 tiers of ill-health the pension will be paid.

Early retirement through redundancy or business efficiency

If you are made redundant or retired in the interests of efficiency at or after age 55 you will, provided you've met the 2 years vesting period, receive the immediate payment of the full pension benefits you've built up.

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.

If your employer agrees to flexible 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.

Regardless of the grounds under which you take your pension the first step will always be to speak to your manager who will provide guidance on how to proceed. They will also provide you with a Retirement Pack.

Income tax

If your taxable income is greater than your tax allowances, you will pay tax on some or all of your pension income in line with current Income Tax rates.

If your taxable income is equal to or less than your allowances, you won’t pay any tax on your pension income.

Protection for your family

A survivor’s pension

A pension will be paid to your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, your eligible cohabiting partner. This pension is payable immediately after your death for the rest of their life and will increase every year in line with the cost of living

Children’s pensions

These are payable to eligible children and increase every year in line with the cost of living.

The amount of pension depends on the number of eligible children you have and whether any survivor pension is being paid to your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner.

A lump sum death grant

A lump sum death grant will be paid if you die and less than 10 years pension has been paid and you are under age 75 at the date of death. The amount payable would be 10 times your annual pension less any pension already paid.

The LGPS, allows you to express your wish as to who you would like any death grant to be paid to by completing and returning a Death Grant Nomination Form. However, your administering authority has absolute discretion over who receives any lump sum death grant.