Retirement for Councillors

You can retire and receive your Scheme benefits in full once you have reached your normal pension ageNormal pension age for any pension built up after 31 March 2015 will be the same as your state pension age.

When you retire, you will receive a pension and have the option to take part of your pension as a tax-free lump sum.  Visit the Calculating Councillor Benefits section to find out more.

You can elect to retire and receive your Scheme benefits from age 55 onwards. However, if you retire between age 55 and your normal pension age your Scheme benefits will be reduced as your pension will be paid for longer.  Normal pension age for your 2015 Scheme benefits will be the same as your state pension age or age 65, whichever is later.

How much your benefits are reduced by depends on how early you draw them.

Number of Years Paid Early    Pension Reduction Lump Sum Reduction
0 0% 0%
1 5% 2%
2 10% 5%
3 15% 7%
4 19%  9%
5 23%  11%
6 26%  13%
7 30%  15%
8 33%  17%
9 36%  19%
10 38%  21%
11 42%  21% *
12 45%  21% *
13 47%  21% *

*As automatic retirement grants were removed from the Scheme on 1 April 2009 and due to the protections in place regarding Normal Pension Age (NPA), a Retirement Grant is paid from age 65 without reductions i.e. the early retirement reductions cannot exceed those that apply for 10 years early.

If you have to leave work at any age due to permanent ill-health which prevents you from discharging efficiently the duties of your office and you have at least two year’s Scheme membership, the Scheme provides a tiered ill-health retirement package.

To qualify for ill-health benefits, NILGOSC must be satisfied that you will be permanently unable to do the duties of your office and have a reduced likelihood of being capable of undertaking any gainful employment before your normal pension age.  NILGOSC’s decision is based on a report from one of its own registered medical practitioners qualified in occupational health medicine.

Ill-health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced due to early payment. The amount of benefits that you will receive depends on the severity of your illness.

  • Tier 1
    If you are considered unlikely to be capable of undertaking any gainful employment before your normal pension age you will receive all of the pension benefits that you have built up plus an enhancement of 100% of the pension that you would have built up to your normal pension age.
  • Tier 2
    If you are considered likely to become capable of undertaking any gainful employment before your normal pension age you will receive all of the pension benefits that you have built up plus an enhancement of 25% of the pension that you would have built up to your normal pension age.

‘Gainful employment’ is defined as paid employment for not less than 30 hours in each week for a period of not less than 12 months.

‘Permanently incapable’ is defined as the member will, more likely than not, be incapable until, at the earliest, his normal pension age.

If you continue your Councillor duties after your Normal Pension Age you will continue to pay into the Scheme, building up further benefits.

We will pay your pension when you retire, or when you reach the eve of your 75th birthday, whichever occurs first. If you draw your pension after your normal pension age, it will be increased from your normal pension age to reflect the fact that it will be paid for a shorter time.

Your pension has to be paid by your 75th birthday.

You may choose to defer drawing your pension even though you have stopped being a Councillor.  However, your pension must be paid by age 75.

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