Annual Benefit Statement FAQs

Your statement only takes into consideration the benefits that you have built up to 31 March 2021.  If you joined the Scheme close to the 31 March 2021 your pay and contribution information for the 2020/21 year may not have been available at the date your employer closed their March payroll.  Therefore, you have no pension contributions recorded for the year ending 31 March 2021. 

If you are a casual worker the value of your pension benefits on your statement may be shown as zero because you joined the Scheme after 1 April 2015 but have not worked between then and 31 March 2021 and therefore have received no pay and made no pension contributions.

We expect that any contributions you have made since joining the Scheme will be reflected in your next year’s annual benefit statement, which will state values for the benefits that you have built up during 2021/22.

Your benefits will be paid to you without any early retirement reductions when you reach your normal pension age, which from 1 April 2015 is the same as your State Pension age.  You can choose to claim your benefits early; however they may be reduced as they will be paid for longer.  You can find more information here.

You can retire and receive your benefits at any time from age 55 onwards and you do not need your employer’s permission.  If you choose to retire before your normal pension age, your benefits may be reduced as they will be paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced by depends on how early you draw them. If you are registered with My NILGOSC Pension Online, you can use the benefit projector to see how your benefits will be affected if you decide to retire early.

You may also be able to claim your benefits early in the following circumstances:

  • If you become ill before your benefits are due to be paid, you may be able to access them immediately. To be considered for ill-health benefits, you must have at least two years’ total Scheme membership.  NILGOSC must also be satisfied that you are permanently incapable of doing your own job and have a reduced likelihood of being capable of doing any other job before your normal pension age.
  • If your employer makes you redundant, or you are retired on the grounds of business efficiency, and you are aged 55 or over and meet the two-year qualifying period, your benefits will be paid immediately without any early retirement reductions.

If the value of your pension is within the HMRC limits you may be able to have it paid as a one-off taxable lump sum instead of a monthly pension.  You can learn more here.

No.  You must take your pension and lump sum at the same time. 

There are limits to how much pension you can to give up for a bigger lump sum.  If you have registered for My NILGOSC Pension Online, you can use the conversions options in the benefit projector to work out how your pension is affected if you exchange some of your pension for a bigger lump sum. This projector will also allow you to work out the maximum lump sum you can receive. 

An automatic lump sum is only applicable for membership built up to 31 March 2009.  If you joined the Scheme after this date you will not be entitled to an automatic lump sum.  However, at retirement you can choose to give up part of your annual pension for a lump sum.

If you pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), you will receive a separate statement from your AVC provider.

NILGOSC is required to produce a statement for each pension record you have with us.  When you start a new job with any Scheme employer you may have the option to combine your pension records within the first twelve months.  If you have not chosen to combine your records within twelve months they must remain separate and you will therefore receive separate statements.

Annual benefit statements will be available on My NILGOSC Pension Online, or issued to home addresses in several batches during August.  If you have not received all of your statements by the beginning of September please contact us.

If any of your personal details have changed or are shown incorrectly you can log on to your My NILGOSC Pension Online account and update them.  Alternatively, you can complete a Change of Circumstances Form or telephone us on 0345 3197 325.

Your pay has been provided by your employer.  Any queries concerning this information should be made to your employer.

If you worked part-time, before 1 April 2015, the membership shown has been adjusted accordingly. E.g. if you work 20 hours per week (full-time is 40 hours) for 10 years you will build up 5 years’ membership in the Scheme. 

The date of joining is the date you started paying contributions into the scheme.  This may not be the same date that you started employment.

You can only re-join the Scheme if you are employed by a Local Government employer.  A list of the employers who participate in our Scheme are shown here.

You may be able to transfer the value of your pension to another occupational pension scheme, personal pension, stakeholder pension scheme or a buy-out insurance policy.

If you are thinking of transferring your benefits, particularly to a personal pension or money purchase arrangement, you may be required to take independent financial advice on transfers and pension scams guidance. You should beware of unauthorised companies.  More information can be found here or on the following websites:

Your pension transfer may not have been fully completed at the time the statement was produced. It should be included on the statement we provide next year.

If you die before receiving your benefits, survivors’ pensions may be payable along with a Lump Sum Death Grant of approximately three times your annual pensionable pay.  Please see Section 5 on your statement for further details.

You can advise us who you would like to receive any death grant using your My NILGOSC Pension Online account or by completing an Expression of Wish Form.

If you and your partner live together but are not married or in a civil partnership you are known as co-habiting partners. When you die, your co-habiting partner may be eligible for a pension if the conditions below are met.

  • You must be able to marry or form a civil partnership with your partner; and
  • You and your partner must be living together as if you are a married couple or as if you are civil partners; and
  • Neither you nor your cohabiting partner have been living with someone else as if you are a married couple or civil partners; and
  • Either your partner is financially dependent on you or you rely on your joint income to support your standard of living – even if you don’t contribute equally.

If you die as an active member of the Scheme, any pension payable to your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner is based on the benefits that you would have built up in the Scheme until your normal pension age.  Therefore, the figure shown in the death benefits section has been increased to reflect this.  As this enhancement only applies if you die as an active member it is not included in Section 2 – ‘Summary of your pension benefits built up to 31 March 2021’.

We will not display a survivor’s pension if your partnership status is currently ‘single’, ‘divorced’ or ‘widowed’. If our records do not show a current partnership status, we have recorded your status as ‘unknown’ and will treat you as ‘married’. Please complete a Change of Circumstances Form or telephone us on 0345 3197 325 to inform us of any changes to your partnership status.