When can I take my benefits?
The normal pension age for people that left the scheme after 31 March 2014 is their State Pension age, or the age of 65 if this is after the State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK The earliest you can take your pension, is age 55 but your benefits may be reduced because your pension will be paid for longer. How much your deferred pension benefits are reduced by will depend on how early you take them. The current early retirement reduction factors can be found on the Local Government Association’s (LGA) website.
You must take your benefits before your 75th birthday.
The 85 year rule
This rule ended on 1 October 2006 so only applies to members that joined the LGPS before that date. If you joined the LGPS before 1 October 2006, some or all of your benefits, if paid early, could be protected from reduction, if:
- you joined the scheme before 1st October 2006
- you reach the age of 60 before 31 March 2020
- your pension benefits could be paid from the age of 60 and before the age of 65
- your age and membership equal 85 before 31 March 2020
Depending on when these events happen, your pension benefits may be fully or partially protected from reduction. If you meet the 85 year rule when you retire, we’ll include the effect of this in any pension estimate or benefits. The only occasion where this protection does not automatically apply is if you choose to take your pension on or after the age of 55 and before the age of 60. However, your former employer can agree not to make any reduction. You can ask them what their policy on this is.
What if I am unable to continue work due to permanent ill health?
If you can’t work because of permanent ill health, before your normal pension age, you may be able to have your deferred pension benefits paid early.
You can apply for your deferred pension benefits at any age, without reduction, if:
- you would be permanently unable to do the job you were working in when you left the LGPS, because of your health, and
- you’re unlikely to be able to do another job within 3 years of applying for the benefit, or before the age of 65 if sooner.
You’ll need to direct your application to your former employer or the Administering Authority, if your former employer no longer exists.