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For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales

When can I take a pension credit?

This news article was published on 04 Nov 2021

Your pension credit is paid without a reduction for early payment from your normal pension age. Your normal pension age depends on two things:

  • when the pension sharing order took effect
  • whether your ex-spouse or civil partner was paying into the LGPS after 31 March 2014.

If the pension sharing order took effect after 31 March 2014 and your ex-spouse or civil partner was paying into the LGPS after 31 March 2014 your normal pension age is linked to your State Pension Age. This means:

  • You can take the pension credit from age 55 but it will be reduced for early payment
  • You can take the pension credit later than your NPA, but you must take it by age 75. If you delay payment, the pension credit will be increased.
  • You may have the option of swapping part of your pension for a cash lump sum. However, this will not be possible if your ex-spouse or civil partner had taken payment of their pension before the pension sharing order took effect and they had swapped part of it for lump sum.

If the pension sharing order took effect before 1 April 2014 or your ex-spouse or civil partner left the LGPS before 1 April 2014, your normal pension age is 65. This means:

  • you can take the pension credit from age 55 but it will be reduced for early payment
  • you must take the pension credit by age 65
  • your pension credit can be paid from any age as a lump sum equal to five years of pension payments if you suffer serious ill health. Serious ill health means that you have less than one year to live. You should contact your pension fund if you wish to claim the pension credit on the grounds of serious ill health. They will arrange for an independent doctor to provide an opinion on your serious ill health.
  • you will not be able to swap pension for lump sum when you take the pension credit. However, if your ex-spouse or civil partner left the LGPS before 1 April 2008 and had not already received a lump sum on the transfer date, a lump sum may be payable to you.

The date that your pension credit benefits in the LGPS are payable from is totally independent of the date that your ex-spouse or civil partner takes their pension.


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