Preparing to draw your LGPS pension

Information for members planning for their retirement.

What we need to know

For most scheme members, ‘retirement’ - drawing your LGPS pension - is at a time of your own choosing. The scheme does not have a ‘default’ retirement age, but we only pay an LGPS pension after you have left employment. This applies even to someone who had previously opted out of the scheme.

Pension Services need to know

  • when you will be leaving, and
  • how you want to take your pension

The retirement declaration form records your decisions and confirms your personal information. Then we need confirmation from your employer.  

Download the retirement declaration form (docx format, 850Kb)

When to complete the form

You can complete and return this form to Pension Services up to six months ahead of your planned retirement date.  

If you intend to leave and request payment of your LGPS pension before your state retirement age, make sure you send in the retirement declaration form at least three months before your leaving date to ensure pension payment follows your employment. 

Please note, this form shows us your formal decision about how you want to draw your benefit and where you provide the information we need to prepare the final figures.   

Use your last benefit statement to help you decide

Use your last annual benefit statement to help you decide the proportion of pension and tax-free lump sum you want. Your annual statements show what your benefit might look like taking the largest allowable tax-free lump sum, or not. However, it cannot show any reductions for a request for early voluntary payment of pension

What types of retirement are covered by the form

The retirement declaration form is for all types of ‘retirement’  - voluntary early retirement, ill-health retirement, redundancy and flexible retirement as well as when you leave work voluntarily at or past your state retirement age.      

Lump-sum calculator

www.lgpsmember.org has a lump sum calculator you may find useful. 

Need more information before making a decision?

If you need more details before making a decision, please apply to Pension Services for an estimate before filling in your retirement declaration form. Be aware that this may slow down the retirement process.      

Frequently asked questions 

Does my employer have to provide a formal notice?

Yes.

And once we have their confirmation  - reason and date for you leaving,  pension entitlements and pay information –  we will already know your decisions based on the Retirement Declaration Form.

Can I draw my pension if I leave before my state retirement pension age?

  • Resigning from your job between ages 55 and your normal pension age
  • With at least two years in the LGPS, we calculate your ‘deferred benefit
     

If you want to draw your pension before your normal pension age, which for most people will be the same as their state pension age, you must make sure that Pension Services receive your written election at least three months before your first day of ‘retirement’  

For example:

Your last day of contractual work is to be on 31 August, and you want your pension to follow immediately after your last day of service. Pension Services must hold your written request which is dated before 1 June  – a clear 3 months’ notice.   Your first day of pension will be from 1 September, although we pay pension monthly at the end of the month.

You can write to Pension Services or use the retirement declaration form (pdf format, 485Kb)  

Please note

Electing to take immediate pension voluntarily between ages 55-60 is now possible if you leave your employment after 1 April 2014, and certain earlier deferred benefits may also be payable at a reduced rate on your request. When it is your choice to take early pension payment before age 60, your pension benefit is reduced regardless of the time you have been in the scheme, unless your employer uses discretion to waive the reduction.

From age 60, drawing pension before your state retirement age may mean some parts of your pension will be reduced. The reduction will depend on how long you have been in the LGPS, what protections may have come across from the old scheme and whether your employer uses their discretions to waive percentage reductions.

You can get an idea of the reduction that may apply for early payment.

If you elect to have your pension to follow on immediately after leaving your job, make sure Pension Services gets your written notice three months ahead of your leaving date.

Pension Services can provide provisional pension figures only after they have been told about your final salary payment. Your employer must send us these details before 19th of the month which follows your last salary payment.

Example of timescale and process

Your last day is 15 July. You receive your last salary on 31 July.  The pay details should be with Pension Services by 19th August. If we hold full and correct records you will have provisional pension figures and retirement declaration letter within 10 working days.

If you want to continue with the request for early payment of pension you should return the retirement declaration papers and we will set up payment.

The monthly pension payroll deadline is 10th of the month for payment at the end of the month.

You can see that you may have to budget to cover the period between leaving your job and starting to receive your regular pension payments.

When you want to claim your deferred pension you will need to reapply - and again allow the three months advance notice

Leaving your job at or after your ‘normal pension age’

  • Which is when a pension can be paid with no increases or reductions and cannot be at under age 65
  • Resigning from your job from age 65 or your ‘normal pension age’
     

With at least 2 years in the LGPS or having paid national insurance contributions in the year before your last day of service. There is no immediate action for you to take.

You have entitlement to immediate payment of your pension, your employer will tell Pension Services that you have left and have an entitlement to an immediate payment. If you wish to put off getting the pension to tell us your preferred payment date.

Example of timescale and process

If your last day is 15 July. You receive your last salary on 31 July. The pay details and employer confirmation should be with Pension Services by 19th August.

If we hold full and correct records and your completed retirement declaration form you should have confirmation of your pension, ready for payment, within 10 working days

If you want to continue with immediate payment of pension you should return the retirement declaration papers and we will set up payment.

The monthly pension’s payroll deadline is 10th of the month for payment at the end of the month.

You can see that you may have to budget to cover the period between leaving your job and starting to receive your regular pension payments.

If you decide you do not want to have immediate payment, tell us when you would wish to take your pension, this must be before age 75.

Leaving due to ill health, redundancy etc

Your employment is terminated by your employer due to redundancy and you are aged at least 55 years, or at any age following ill health determination when a pension is payable.  

With at least 2 years in the LGPS, please complete and return the retirement declaration form which will show us your decision about your pension package options, while we wait for the formal notice from your employer.

You have entitlement to immediate payment of your pension which must be paid, it cannot be deferred; your employer will tell Pension Services that you have left with this entitlement.

Example of timescale and process.

If your last day is 15 July and you receive your last salary on 31 July.

The pay details and employer confirmation should be with Pension Services by 19th August.

If we hold full and correct records you will have provisional pension figures and retirement declaration letter within 10 working days. 

You should return the retirement declaration forms to Pension Services showing your decisions. You cannot defer this payment; your pension is due and must be paid.  

The monthly pension’s payroll deadline is 10th of the month for payment at the end of the month.

You can see that you may have to budget to cover the period between leaving your job and starting to receive your regular pension payments.     

Please note

Pension Services can provide provisional pension figures only after we know about your final salary payment and have confirmation of your leaving, and supporting certificates.

Your employer must send us these details before 19th of the month which follows your last salary payment.

Exit Cap rules

We will not release details on any individual benefit until your employer confirms whether the exit cap has been breached or your organisation is not covered by the exit cap regulations.

  • It will be your responsibility to determine whether the £95,000 exit cap regulations apply to your organisation and if so whether the payment of the Pension Strain Cost will make the total exit costs exceed the £95K cap. You must provide written assurance that either your organisation is not covered by the exit cap regulations or the total exit payments including the pension strain costs are below the exit cap from an appropriately qualified signatory before any pension payment can be made. See the flow charts at the end of this document.
  • We will not release details on any individual benefit to the member until you confirm whether the exit cap has been breached or your organisation is not covered by the exit cap regulations. If breached, Pension Services will provide details of a fully reduced pension and a deferred benefit to the member.
  • All estimates are provided on the understanding that they are in line with the Regulations in force at the time of calculation and therefore are subject to change following the ongoing consultation on further reform proposals.

If you hold an AVC fund

A different timescale may apply if you hold an AVC fund. 

You have further options if you have been paying additional contributions (AVCs) with the Prudential.  Please make sure you have full details of your choices before completing your retirement declaration form. 

A general guide to process and timescales

The following is a broad guide about the information exchange between the employer, Pension Services and you, leading to the pension payment; everyone is different this is only a general indication.

Step 1: Pension Services receives either retirement confirmation from an employer or your completed retirement declaration form

Step 2: Retirement confirmation and pension due dates noted and expected work allocated to the Pension Services worklist. Retirements are our high priority, but without confirming details from your employer about your pay and ‘final pay’ we cannot start calculating your benefit.  

Step 3: Within 10 days of receiving pay and ‘final pay’ details from your employer, Pension Services will either

a) when we hold your completed retirement declaration form, confirm your pension details with you

or

b) send you your provisional retirement details. We can only set up payment once you have returned the completed retirement declaration form, which will confirm your choice about exchanging pension for retirement grant.     ​   

Step 4: If you had a provisional letter return retirement declaration form showing your decisions. We can set up the pension and or retirement grant payments only once we know your decision.

Could anything hold up payment of my pension?

If your employer has not supplied full details about your pensionable pay to your last day of service or confirmed you have left your job Pension Services cannot finalise your pension calculation or make any payments. Under the LGPS regulations, it is the employer who determines your entitlement to a benefit.

Contact your employer with questions about your entitlement, about your ‘pensionable pay’ and contact Pension Services if you have any concerns about how the pension is calculated or paid.

My Oxfordshire Pension 

When we confirm your pension, you will be able to register for My Oxfordshire Pension if you have not already done so as an active member. . Using the dedicated secure website your retirement notice and scheme documents are there for you to view, as well as your monthly pension payslips.