I’m paying in, when can I take my pension?

You can choose to stop work and take your pension at any time between age 55 and 75. Your normal pension age (NPA) is the age when you can retire and take the pension you have built up without early retirement reductions. When you decide to take your benefits, visit the retirement process section for details on how to request payment.

If you wish to continue to work in the same job but reduce your hours or pay, you can flexibly retire with your employer’s permission. 

For the pension built up from 1 April 2015, your Normal Pension Age (NPA) is the same as your State Pension Age (SPA), but with a minimum age of 65. You can find out your State Pension Age (SPA), by using the Government's State Pension Age calculator.

To be entitled to benefits you must have at least 2 years membership or have transferred other pension rights into the Scheme.

Any benefits you built up before 1 April 2015 have a Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 65. You must take your whole LGPS pension at the same time.

Rule of 85 and 2020

The Rule of 85 allowed members to retire after age 60 without any reduction to their pension where their age and length of scheme membership (in whole years) added up to 85. The rule was removed from the scheme regulations with effect from 1 December 2006. However, certain protections remain in place for members who joined the scheme prior to this date.

You can use our online projectors to see an estimate of the benefits which would be payable at retirement. These projectors apply any Rule of 85 protection that is applicable to your benefits.

Benefits protected by the Rule of 85 are payable without reduction from the later of:
· Age 60 (if the member meets the Rule of 85 criteria on or before this date)
· The date the member satisfies the Rule of 85 (if between 60 and 65)
· Age 65


Different levels of protection apply depending on your age, and these are outlined below.

 

  • Group 1
  • Group 2
  • Group 3

members born before 1 April 1960 who joined the scheme before 1 December 2006:

· All benefits accrued up to 31 March 2020 are protected by the Rule of 85
· Benefits accrued from 1 April 2020 onwards will be reduced if paid before your State Pension Age

members born on or after 1 April 1960 who joined the scheme before 1 December 2006:

· All benefits accrued up to 31 March 2008 are protected by the Rule of 85
· Benefits accrued from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2015 will be reduced if paid before age 65
· Benefits accrued from 1 April 2015 onwards will be reduced if paid before your State Pension Age

members who joined the scheme on or after 1 December 2006 (regardless of age):

None of your benefits are protected by the Rule of 85


· Benefits accrued up to 31 March 2015 will be reduced if paid before age 65


· Benefits accrued from 1 April 2015 onwards will be reduced if paid before your State Pension Age

Although benefits accrued after 1 April 2020 will not benefit from the Rule of 85 protection, all protection accrued up to this date will remain in place even if you leave or retire after 31 March 2020. 

The reduction is calculated based on how long before the normal payment dates above you would be retiring. The reduction factors, which are provided by the Government Actuary’s Department, can be found in the section on Early Retirement Factors. 

If you retire before age 60 and already meet the Rule of 85 criteria, your employer may agree to apply these protections to your benefits immediately upon retirement however this may lead to a cost (known as a strain on the Fund cost) being payable by your employer. 

If you retire on flexible retirement before age 60 the rule of 85 counts and benefits are not reduced if you have met the rule of 85 before or on date of leaving. This also would result in a cost to be paid to the Fund by your employer. 
Please note that, unless you are taking flexible retirement, it is not possible to take some of your pension benefits and leave the rest until a later date. All benefits must be taken at the same time and, if earlier than the dates outlined above, the appropriate reduction would apply. 

Cost of living adjustment 

Your LGPS pension increases in line with the cost of living every year throughout your retirement. If the cost of living goes up, so will your pension. 

 

 

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