Annual Benefit Statements
Every LGPS administrator has to send an Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) to all scheme members who are entitled to deferred benefits.
Public service pensions and lump sums, whether deferred or in payment, are increased annually to take account of increases in the cost of living.
The level of increase is equal to the percentage specified by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and is equal to the percentage rise in the Consumer Price Index in the twelve months to the preceding September.
The increase in pensions takes effect from the first Monday of the tax year.
Transfer to another employment
If you return to local government pensionable employment before your benefits become payable, it may be possible to cancel your deferred benefits and combine the scheme membership with any future accumulated service. These are your options:
- You must notify the administering authority of your intention to transfer the service within 12 months of taking up your new post. Once the 12 month period has lapsed, a transfer can only take place with the approval of your new employer.
- You may choose to transfer your deferred benefits to an external pension provider (either another occupational scheme or a personal pension plan). There is no time limit here, as long as your new employer/pension administrator is willing to receive the transfer. You can ask us to investigate the transfer-out at any point up until the benefits come into payment.
Retirement date and payment of benefits
Your deferred benefits are payable from your normal retirement age. The expected date of payment will either be in the letter sent to you on leaving the pension scheme or your deferred Annual Benefit Statement (a copy of which is sent to your home address every year).
From 14 May 2018, all deferred benefits may be taken voluntarily from age 55 onwards. These benefits will be subject to a reduction for early payment.
If you are a member with deferred benefits and are approaching age 55 we will write to you giving the information you need to make a decision on receiving your reduced benefits.
If you decide not to take your benefits we will write to you again shortly before your normal retirement age.
One final option is available to you when you reach your normal retirement age: you can choose to delay receiving your benefits. If you do, your deferred benefits are increased slightly for every day past your normal retirement age that you delay receipt.
You can delay receiving your benefits until the day before your 75th birthday when they will be paid automatically.
Tracing previous pension entitlements
Changing jobs can lead to the accumulation of individual pension benefits, each held by a variety of companies and schemes. This could mean that benefits may be forgotten, assumed to have been transferred or are hard to trace.
If you think you may have left some entitlements somewhere, you can use the Pension tracing service.
Previous employee of a local government authority in Devon (including police/fire civilians)
Please contact us with as much information about your former employment as you can provide to help us trace your benefits.
As well as your full name (maiden if applicable), date of birth, and NI number, please also let us have details of your previous employer, dates of service, job title and location of employment.
Previous employee of a local authority in a teaching role
Employees employed by a local authority in a teaching capacity do not pay into the LGPS; they have their own separate pension scheme administered by the Teachers Pensions Service.
Change in personal circumstances
It is very important to inform us of any change of address. Without it, we cannot send you an Annual Benefit Statement, inform you of important scheme changes or contact you when your benefits are due to be paid.
Sometimes when a member dies, the only way a surviving eligible spouse or partner has learned of their entitlement is because the member received a letter from us.
Please make sure your spouse or partner is aware of your entitlement to deferred benefits and keep us updated on any status changes in your marriage, civil partnership or nominated cohabiting partner status.
Possible reasons for early payment
Your deferred benefits may be awarded early if you become permanently incapable of carrying out the duties of your former employment because of ill health or infirmity of mind or body.
No pensions increases are payable until your 55th birthday unless you are unfit for any work.
If you would like to apply for your benefits to be paid early on the grounds on ill health, please contact your previous employer’s Human Resources department giving your name, address, previous job title and periods of service, along with a brief explanation of your circumstances and the reason for applying for the early release of benefits.
Request for early payment
If you are over age 55 and wish to apply for early payment of your deferred benefits within the next 6 months, please complete the Request for Early Payment of Deferred Benefits form and email a scanned copy of the signed form to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a brief explanation of your circumstances and reason for applying for the early release of benefits.
On receipt of the completed form, details of your deferred benefits and options available will be sent to you.
Please do not complete the application form if you are applying for your benefits to be paid early on the grounds on ill health. Instead, please contact your previous employer’s Human Resources department regarding this.
Further information on survivor’s benefits here.