Deferred members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

Information for members who have left the LGPS but not yet retired.

What is a deferred benefit

If you have left your employment, or opted out while still employed and not yet at retirement age, the pension you have built up stays in the Oxfordshire Pension Fund until:

  • you decide to transfer it to another pension scheme
  • you are eligible, and request to draw your pension.

This pension is known as a deferred benefit. 

Telling you about your options

When Pension Services know you have left your job – we rely on your employer for this information - we will tell you about your options on leaving.  

After that, every year, we send a statement to show the current value of your deferred benefit.

The value on the statements is as if you could take that pension, unreduced on the statement date.

Howeverthe amount we can pay may be less if you request an early payment of pension before your normal state pension age. Conditions and the process for early payment will vary according to the set of regulations in operation when you left the scheme

Annual review and statement

We review deferred pensions every year. We will adjust the value in line with the consumer price index at the same rate we apply to pensions in payment.

Your statement will be available for 31 August every year, online at your My Oxfordshire Pension record or posted to your home address        

Newsletter for deferred members

The 2019 newsletter (pdf format, 605Kb) is produced in collaboration with other LGPS funds. 

My Oxfordshire Pension your secure on-line pension record 

Your annual statements, newsletters and increasingly correspondence will be available on your record. Pension Services will email you when new information is waiting for you.    

Find out more at My Oxfordshire Pension where you will also find a set of frequently asked questions. Alternatively, if you wish to register to keep contact by post to your home address, go to our Forms and guides page and click on 'Register for paper notices'.

Your information and fair processing notice  

Every two years our pensioner payroll and deferred pensioner data is matched with secure national computer system. The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in its anti-fraud initiative. For this initiative, we provide details of deferred pensioners so that they can be compared to information provided by other public bodies. This will ensure, for example, that no pensions are due to be paid to persons who are deceased or no longer entitled, and that the benefits are paid accordingly to any descendants.

Sometimes wrong payments are made because of a genuine error. These exercises, therefore, help promote the best use of public funds. This is our formal notice to you about this regular process, you do not need to contact us about it.

If you have questions about this exercise, you will find more information at https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/national-fraud-initiative. Alternatively contact Pension Services for details

Frequently asked questions

How do I tell you about changing address details

It is your responsibility to tell Pension Services when you change your address. When an annual statement is returned to us, undelivered, we will not send out further statements until you tell us your new address.

You can keep your address detail up to date by registering for the online pension record My Oxfordshire Pension.

I haven’t received my annual statement. What should I do?

If you are still waiting for a statement at the end of August, contact Pension Services.

If you have had a statement in previous years, have you changed your address? Make sure you tell Pension Services about your new address, we can take those details over the phone.   

If you have left the LGPS, over three months ago, but have not yet received a notice about your deferred benefit notice contact Pension Services.

I want to change my expression of wish, how do I do this?

Use the Expression of Wish form on this forms and guide page . Print it out, fill in with the new details (don’t forget to tell us who you are too) and send to Pension Services. We will change your pension record.   

If you have registered for My Oxfordshire Pension you can make changes to your request yourself.

I have the statement but there are no details about a possible death grant, is this right?

The regulations have changed several times over the years, to find out about what might be due following your death please contact Pension Services

I have rejoined LGPS or have been automatically enrolled into the LGPS by my employer, what now?

If you join the LGPS again after 31 March 2014, and the gap between membership of any public services pension scheme is less than five years, the periods of LGPS membership should be linked automatically to your new pension. You must declare any membership you have with a public sector pension scheme, when you rejoin the scheme in the future to start  the transfer arrangements.

You can decide to keep periods of LGPS membership separate, but  you have to make a formal decision to Pension Services within 12 months of starting your new job. This is also the rule when changing jobs with the same employer.

If you have a deferred pension and also contribute to the LGPS in another employment there would not be two death grants should you die in service. Pension Services must  make full enquiries with the other funds where you may have a LGPS pension record to assess which fund will make the death grant payment.

How do the 'freedom and choice' reforms affect me?

6 April 2015 was the effective date for reforms to workplace pensions offering flexibility to individuals aged at least 55 in the way they access their pension savings.

The flexibilities offered do not directly apply to benefits and members of the LGPS.

I have a new job outside of the LGPS and want to transfer my pension

Pension Services will not automatically transfer your pension out of the LGPS. To start the transfer process, you must contact the administrators of your new scheme. We recommend you collect as much information as possible about the new scheme and what a transfer from the LGPS would mean before you agree to it. An independent financial advisor may help you review all options.

A transfer away from the LGPS should be carefully considered. Please be aware that there are unscrupulous ‘offers’ and scams. Do check the information on the Pensions Regulator’s website to help recognise the ‘scammers’ and their approach.

We have a leaflet, Q and A for LGPS members, concerning transfers to a defined benefit scheme to help explain what options you may have.   

When can I claim my pension?

The date you can claim  an unreduced pension will vary according to when you left the scheme, and will be personal to you. Those LGPS regulations in force when you left the scheme influence how much pension we can pay and which other overriding regulations we need to consider.

We suggest you get in touch to investigate your options by requesting  an estimate and then confirm your payment arrangements  at least six months before you expect to draw your pension. This will give you time to  plan your finances, knowing  when your pension payment will begin and what options may be available.

Claiming your pension earlier may be possible, and sometimes you do not need the agreement of your former employer. 

After opting out the LGPS

We cannot pay your deferred pension before you have left that employment.

Requesting early payment of my deferred pension at age 55-60

Leaving LGPS after 31 March 2014, between age 55-60, you can choose to take early payment of your deferred benefits.  You do not need your former employer’s consent to draw your pension,  but you must apply in writing, and Pension Services must receive your request at least three months before your nominated payment date. 

Please note that the ‘nominated payment date’ is the date your pension would begin – not the date we would expect to make the first payment.  And your request must be made, and received, in our office, at least three months before the date you want your pension to begin, the nominated date.

For example: if you want your pension to come into payment from your 60th birthday, and your date of birth is 1 October 1956.  The ‘nominated date’ or the date you want your pension to begin is 1 October 2016.  Your written request must be in the office and dated before 2 July 2016.

If your request is received late, for example on 5 July. Your pension will begin from 4 October, and no pension is due for 1-3 October.  

You can use this retirement declaration form (docx format, 784Kb) when you know your nominated payment date.

Or request more details by requesting a benefit estimate from Pension Services.      

A request for early payment overrides any protections which may be in place, unless your former employer has prepared a policy to show when any ‘85 year rule’ protections - and/or waiving any reductions might apply.  These are discretions the employer can use and will be in their published policy. You must apply to your former employer for details of their policy.

Your benefits will be reduced if there is no employer waiver policy. The reduction is based on the period between the date your benefits are paid and your Normal Pension Age.

If you left LGPS between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2014 you can now choose to take early payment of your deferred benefits from age 55 (rather than 60). Apply for an early payment to Pension Services. For this early payment you no longer need the consent of your former employer to take your benefits, however the benefits payable will be at a reduced rate using this option.

You must still apply direct to your former employer to approve payment of an unreduced pension or if you wish to claim an early pension due to permanent ill health.

For leavers before 1 April 1998 - the scheme rules have been changed to allow you to take your benefit on request to Pensions Services after age 55. The benefits will be reduced due to early payment, based on the shortfall between date of payment and your normal pension age (NPA). Your NPA will be between age 60 and 65 depending on when you joined the scheme – you can find this information on your annual benefit statement.

You can still apply direct to your employer for an early payment on permanent ill health or for them to waive reductions in special circumstances    

The early reduction factors are set by the Government and can vary from time to time. The current factors are on the national LGPS member website - where you will also find more information about taking your deferred benefit

Requesting payment of my deferred pension from age 60

You can ask for payment, giving the minimum three months’ notice as described above of your nominated payment date to Pension Services. For leavers after April 2014, any protections built up in the scheme before 2014 are used automatically, pension built up from April 2014 will be reduced, reflecting the time between payment date and your normal pension age

The early reduction factors are set by the Government and can vary from time to time. The current factors are on the national LGPS member website - where you will also find more information about taking your deferred benefit

Requesting payment at normal pension age but no earlier than age 65

You do not need to make an early election for payment, but Pension Services will be in touch to find if you want to defer payment.

Also, please note, deferred benefits must be paid before age 75.  However, if you delay claiming your pension until after your state retirement age, the GMP element (if any) of your pension must be paid from that date (unless you are still in employment). Please check with Pension Services about the effects of setting up GMP only payments

You do not need to make an early election for payment at your normal pension age, but Pension Services will be in touch to find if you want to defer payment.

Early payment reductions

Find out more about the guide to the percentage reductions and the amount we will reduce your pension when paid early

Finding out about protections under earlier regulations

Pension built up in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 may have protections in place. You can find out more about these protections in the leaflet If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014.

Requesting an early payment of your deferred benefit in most cases will override any scheme protections, unless your employer has decided to use a discretion to  ‘switch back’ a protection.

Requesting payment due to permanent ill-health

Contact your former employer, or Pension Services if your former employer is no longer operational, if you consider your poor health would prevent you from doing your previous job. There is a formal process and medical review before your pension can be released.

This decision is for your former employer to make. If you are uncertain about their contact details get in touch with Pension Services. You may use this early payment due to ill health request form (pdf format, 137Kb) to start the enquiry process.  

There is no age restriction.

After death

If you die before we start to pay your pension, there may be some benefits due from the Oxfordshire Pension Fund, these may include:

  • a lump sum death grant
  • a pension payable to an eligible partner
  • pension to eligible children.

To decide on eligibility, Pension Services will request documents such as:

  • death certificate
  • marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • birth certificates
  • confirmation and statements of cohabiting partnership

If you paid contributions as a member of the LGPS after 31 March 2008, other than as a councillor member, your co-habiting partner may be able to receive a pension after your death. Eligibility will be checked when a pension is claimed. A co-habiting partner must meet all the conditions of the regulations for at least two years before your death.

You do not have to complete any forms to register an entitlement for your cohabiting partner, but you may, if you wish, notify Pension Services of their details.   

We recommend everyone keeps their Death Grant and Expression of Wish direction details up to date. 

Your family will need to contact Pension Services immediately to inform us of your death.

NB. From April 2014, if you have an active pension record and also a deferred pension in the LGPS, there may be restrictions to the amount of death grant we, or the other fund can pay. We will make a full check of the entitlement before settling any payment.