Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most.
Can you offer advice on my transfer/retirement?
No, we are not permitted to offer advice to you on any aspect of your pension. Of course, we will provide you with the necessary information on which to base a decision, but you should take advice from an independent financial adviser.
What is the normal age of retirement for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)?
The normal retirement age for both men and women in the LGPS is the State Pension Age. Since April 2006, members have been able to pay into the scheme until their 75th birthday. Nobody is expected (or forced) to work beyond their normal retirement age, but some people choose to continue working.
Note: benefits may be taken earlier (at age 55), but there could be a percentage reduction applied depending on various factors. Visit the LGPS website for more information.
At what age can I receive payment of a Pension Credit from a divorce settlement?
If you are entitled to a Pension Credit, you are eligible to receive your benefits at 65. You can elect to receive them from age 60, but they would be subject to an actuarial reduction.
Does my pension/preserved benefit increase over time?
Your pension is linked to the Consumer Price Index which charts the price of various goods and services over a period of time. This figure is applied annually to your deferred benefit, right up to when it finally comes into payment. This means that, between the dates of leaving your employment and your pension starting, the benefits will not lose any value when compared to modern day costs of living.
I am unable to work due to illness. Can I receive my pension early?
In order to retire on ill-health, you must receive confirmation from your authority’s approved doctor (through the relevant process) that your illness is serious enough to prevent you from carrying out the requirements of your employment or that of a similar role.
If you are confirmed as eligible for ill-health retirement, you would qualify for immediate benefits (possibly with an enhancement), regardless of your age. Without this confirmation, you would not be able to retire on ill-health grounds.
You can voluntarily resign from your employment of course, but you would not be eligible for benefits unless you were at least 55 (but the benefits would not include an ill-health enhancement).
An alternative option may be flexible retirement.
I've had a reduction in pay or a drop in hourly rate in the last 10 years - how will this affect my pension?
Final pay is normally the pensionable pay earned in the 365 days immediately before your retirement date, or one of the previous two years’ pensionable pay – whichever is the higher figure.
If you are part-time (less than 37 hours a week and/or term-time only), the figures used in the pension calculations are up rated to that of full-time equivalent pensionable pay. If your hourly rate has dropped within the last 10 years, benefits may be calculated differently because your pensionable pay has decreased.
On your request, final pay may be calculated on the average of any 3 consecutive years in the last 13 years (ending on a 31 March) after allowing for inflation. If you wish for us to use the best three year average from the last 13 years, when calculating your benefits, you must put your request in writing to Peninsula Pensions at any time up to one month before you leave. This option cannot apply once you have left.
Is there a way of taking my pension without necessarily 'retiring'/leaving my existing job?
Your application must be made to your employer, not Peninsula Pensions Service. With your employers consent, you can take your benefits from an earlier age (currently 55 years plus), in exchange for reducing your hours and/or your grade.
If your employer agrees to let you take flexible retirement, the employer has the discretion to waive any actuarial reductions which may otherwise be applied to your pension.
Could I have my pension paid as a cheque, rather than into a bank account?
Unfortunately, we no longer offer a cheque service.
Is it possible to have my pension paid into a bank or building society account that isn't registered under my name?
No, we can only pay a pension into an account belonging to the pensioner in question. However, we can pay the money into a joint account as long as the pensioner is one of the recognised account holders.
What if the pensioner is unable to sign documents or take responsibility for their actions?
In this case, a Power of Attorney may be required. This will allow the authorised person to act with complete authority on the pensioner’s behalf, and remove the necessity for proof of the pensioner’s acceptance.
Will my pension be affected if I re-commence employment with another local authority or an employer who contributes to the LGPS?
Entering a new employment covered by the LGPS could affect the value of your pension if you are already getting a pension from the LGPS. If you are thinking about applying for a new job, contact us with the hours and salary details and we will let you know if or how much your pension will be reduced.
My pension has suffered a 'modification' deduction. Why?
This deduction has been applied to your pension because you belonged to the Local Government Pension Scheme between 6 July 1948 and 31 March 1980. During this period of time, you would have paid a lower rate of contribution compared to that of your post-April 1980 scheme.
In order to make up the short-fall, the contribution difference is recouped from your pension on an annual basis (roughly £1.70 for every year of membership between July 1948 and March 1980). These deductions start as soon as you reach state retirement age.
What happens if a pensioner becomes unable to organise their own affairs?
We can accept correspondence on behalf of a pensioner, even though the person may not personally have written or composed the letter. Please ensure that there is proof that they have approved its contents (for example, their signature on the bottom of the document).
What happens if I don't agree with the tax code being applied to my pension?
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should have contacted you with notification of a change in tax code. We apply the tax codes and make sure the correct payments are made from the monthly payroll, but do not control the code itself. Any query about your tax should be made to HMRC on 0300 200 3200 (please have your National Insurance number to hand).
When can I expect my pension to be paid into my bank account?
Pensions are paid on the last working day of every month. If the end of the month falls on a weekend, the pay date will be brought forward to the preceding Friday.
Why don't I receive a payslip every month?
We no longer send payslips each month, in order to reduce costs and environmental waste. Pay advices are sent out every April and May (end of financial year), and are sent to any member whose pension has seen a net change of more or less than £1.
My P60 shows that I received less pension this year than the Annual Pension figure found on my pay advice. Why?
The figure on your Annual Pension pay advice operates on the calendar year, with each month commencing on the 1st. The figure on the P60 operates on the financial year which often doesn’t start until the second week of April. Pensions Increase is always applied from the first Monday after 6 April. The week or two difference between these dates means figures will never be exactly the same. You are still receiving your full entitlement, it’s just those first couple of weeks which fall under the previous financial year.
Can you provide me with a replacement for my mislaid/never received P60?
We can send you the information that was on your P60, however we can’t provide a duplicate of the P60 itself. The information sent to you will be in a letter, showing the same information your P60 would normally show.