Members can retire from age 55 without their employer’s consent, however benefits may be reduced as they are being paid early.
Members’ normal pension age is now the same as their State Pension Age, or age 65 if later.
The latest a member can retire and receive their pension is the day before their 75th birthday. Their benefits will be increased if they retire after your normal pension age.
From age 55, if a member reduces their hours or moves to a less senior position, they can draw some or all of the pension benefits they have built up, providing they have met the two year qualifying period and their employer agrees. They can continue paying into the Scheme until they fully retire. Please note: reductions for early retirement may apply.
If the member is made redundant or retired on the grounds of business efficiency when aged 55 or over, their benefits must be paid immediately without any early retirement reductions.
To qualify for ill-health benefits a member must:
• have at least two years’ membership
• be permanently incapable of doing your job
• have a reduced likelihood of being capable of undertaking any gainful employment before normal pension age
• be assessed by NILGOSC’s doctor.
There are two levels of ill-health benefits payable depending on the likelihood of being capable of undertaking gainful employment before normal pension age.
At retirement a member may choose to give up pension for lump sum. The conversion rate is £12 lump sum for every £1 of pension given up.
LGPS (NI) pensions are increased annually in line with Pension Increase Orders.
A member will only get a refund of contributions if they leave or opt out of the Scheme and have less than two years’ membership.
Members can apply to transfer their pension benefits to another pension scheme when they have left active membership. A transfer out is only payable if they transfer out more than 1 year before their normal pension age and have not retired on the grounds of redundancy, business efficiency or ill-health. If the transfer value is greater than £30,000, members will be required to take appropriate independent advice before being allowed to transfer their benefits to a defined contribution scheme or personal pension.