With the NESPF you have a head start when it comes to your retirement and so we’re going to take a closer look at the ins and outs of what retiring with a NESPF pension means for you.
When will I get my pension?
You can choose to retire and take your pension any time after age 55 however you must take your pension before your 75th birthday.
Normal Pension Age is simply the age you can retire and receive your pension benefits in full, unreduced. Normal Pension Age (NPA) differs depending on when you were paying in:
- Before 1 April 2015: NPA = 65
- On or After 1 April 2015: NPA = State Pension Age, with a minimum of 65. That means those who have a State Pension Age lower than 65, still have a NPA of 65 in the LGPS. As your Normal Pension Age is linked to your State Pension Age, if your State Pension Age increases so too will your Normal Pension Age. You can find out your State Pension Age at https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age
If you have both pre and post April 2015 benefits, these must be taken at the same time.
If you choose to take your pension before your Normal Pension Age, this is classed as early retirement and your pension will be reduced for early payment (there are some exceptions to this for members who retire under Ill Health Retirement, members who qualify for full Rule of 85 protection and in some cases of redundancy and business efficiency). If you take your pension after your Normal Pension Age, this is classed as late retirement and your pension will be increased as it is being paid late.
You cannot cash in or withdraw your LGPS pension. If you are over 55 and wish to access some or all of your pension you would need to transfer it to another pension provider who offers these options.
Types of Retirement
There are several different retirement packages available depending on your age and circumstances. You can choose to retire early or decide to ease into retirement with flexible retirement. Or if circumstances are out with your control, ill health and redundancy retirements are also options.
Flexible retirement: From age 55 and with your employer's permission, you can reduce your hours or pay grade and begin to draw some or all of your pension benefits. This is a good option for those who want the best of both worlds and may not be ready to fully commit to retirement.
Ill health retirement: You can retire on ill health grounds at any age provided you have been a member of the pension scheme for at least 2 years and your employer, based on the opinion of an independent occupational health advisor is satisfied you are permanently incapable of doing your job.
Redundancy & Efficiency Retirement: If you are 55 and over, and you lose your job on grounds of redundancy or business efficiency you pension will be paid immediately. For those who have been in the scheme continually since 5 April 2006, your pension can be paid from age 50 in these circumstances.
Preparing for Retirement
One of the best ways to prepare for retirement is to equip yourself with as much information about your pension as possible. You can use our My Pension tool to view your current pension value and see what the value of your pension will be at retirement.
If you want your pension payments to start by a certain date you should contact us in plenty of time to ensure this is possible. The length of time it takes to process and put your pension into payment varies depending on resources available.
A breakdown of the steps to retirement can be viewed here.