When can you take your deferred pension?

Your deferred pension benefits are normally payable in full at your Normal Pension Age in the LGPS. From 1 April 2014 your Normal Pension Age is linked to your State Pension Age (but with a minimum of age 65). However, your benefits can be paid earlier, or later than your Normal Pension Age. There are two ways they can be paid earlier and these are:

  • early payment of deferred benefits at your request, or
  • early payment of deferred benefits due to permanent ill-health

If you built up pension in, or left the LGPS before 1 April 2014 then protections are in place for the Normal Pension Age that applies to those benefits. The protected Normal Pension Age before 1 April 2014 is age 65 (for almost all members). This means if you left the LGPS before 1 April 2014 your deferred benefits will payable in full at age 65. In addition, if you were a member of the LGPS at anytime between 1 April 1998 and 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits could be paid in full earlier than age 65 if you are a rule of 85 protected member. Use the find out more buttons for further information.

Early payment of deferred benefits at your request

If you left on or after 1 April 2014 you can choose to take early payment of your deferred benefits from age 55. You do not need your former employer's consent to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age.

If you left before 1 April 2014 you can choose to take early payment of your deferred benefits from age 60. You do not need your former employer's consent to draw your pension between age 60 and your Normal Pension Age, however, you will need your former employer's consent to draw your pension before age 60. This is a discretion and you can ask them what their policy is on this.

If you choose to draw your deferred benefits before your Normal Pension Age your benefits will normally be reduced to take account of their early payment and the fact that your pension will be paid for longer. How much your deferred benefits are reduced by depends on how early you draw them. The reduction is calculated in accordance with guidance issued by the Secretary of State from time to time. The reduction is based on the length of time (in years and days) that you retire early i.e. the period between the date your benefits are paid and your Normal Pension Age.

Please note that if you built up pension in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 then protections are in place for the Normal Pension Age that applies to those benefits. In addition, if you were a member of the LGPS at anytime between 1 April 1998 and 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early could be protected from the reduction if you are a rule of 85 protected member.

Your former employer can agree to waive any reduction. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy on this is.

Early payment of deferred benefits due to permanent ill health

The second method of obtaining early payment of your deferred benefits is on the grounds of permanent ill health. You can apply for payment of your deferred benefits at any age, without reduction if, because of your health, you would be permanently incapable of the job you were working in when you left the LGPS; if you left the LGPS after 31 March 2008 there is a further requirement that you are unlikely to be capable of undertaking any gainful employment within 3 years of applying for the benefit or by your Normal Pension Age, whichever is the earlier. In this context gainful employment means paid employment for not less than 30 hours in each week for a period of not less than 12 months.

Payment of deferred benefits at or after your Normal Pension Age

If you do not take early payment of deferred benefits under either of the above two methods the deferred benefits will be paid from your Normal Pension Age unless you opt to delay payment beyond that age.

If you draw your deferred benefits after your Normal Pension Age your pension will be increased by 0.010% for each day payment of your pension is delayed beyond your Normal Pension Age. Deferred benefits must be paid before age 75.

However, if your pension is not in payment at age 60 (women) / 65 (men), the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) element (if any) of your pension must be paid from that date (unless you are still in some employment at that time and consent to postponement of payment of your GMP).