Whether you have just started or are coming to the end of your career, it’s never too early or too late to think about retirement. For a lot of people reaching the state retirement age, the reality is that they are now working longer than they would like to.
As there is no longer a default retirement age set by the Government (which had been set at 65), employees can retire at an age and time of their choosing.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
Unless you let us know otherwise, you will automatically join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The LGPS is administered on by Flintshire County Council’s Clwyd Pension Fund.
Members of the scheme need at least 2 years LGPS scheme membership to be eligible for a pension at retirement.
Local Government Pension Scheme benefits
The Local Government Pension Scheme is very secure as it is set out in law, some of the benefits are highlighted below:
- A secure pension for life;
- Tax-free cash - you have the option to exchange part of your pension for some tax-free cash on your retirement;
- Peace of mind - immediate life cover and a pension for your husband, wife, civil partner or nominated co-habiting partner and children, in the event of your death and, if you ever become seriously ill, you could receive immediate ill-health benefits.
- Early retirement - you can choose to retire from age 55 and receive your benefits immediately, although they may be reduced for early payment.
- Flexible retirement - if you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position at, or after age 55 you may be able to draw some or all of the benefits you have built up.
- Options to pay extra - you can boost your pension by paying more contributions. You get tax relief on these too.
If you have any queries regarding your pension please contact the Clwyd Pension Fund.
Local Government Pension Scheme - Retirement options
There are different types of retirement options which you may be eligible for, depending on your age.
If you retire on your normal retirement age, your LGPS pension will automatically be paid to you.
If you have at least 2 years total membership or have brought a transfer value into the LGPS, you can leave employment voluntarily and receive your pension benefits at any time from age 55 onwards.
If you are asked to (or agree to) retire due to service efficiencies or redundancy, you may be entitled to receive immediate payment of unreduced benefits.
If you are over 55, you have the right to request to change the nature and intensity of your work; to receive accrued pension benefits whilst continuing in employment and building up further benefits in the scheme, enabling you to ease into retirement within 2 years of the beginning of the agreement.
The change may be:
- A minimum of 20% reduction in your working hours;
- Changes in your duties resulting in a 20% reduction in pay
It must meet the needs of the Service and approval of the change is at the discretion of the council. Although you have the right to request a change in your working hours or grade in order to facilitate flexible retirement there is no obligation on the council to grant it.
If you have at least 2 years membership or have transferred previous pension rights into the scheme, you may be eligible to receive your unreduced benefits early on the grounds of ill-health, regardless of your age.
If you continue to work after normal retirement age, you can carry on paying pension contributions and accrue further LGPS membership.
Further information about the Local Government Pension Scheme, including retirement options can be found on the Clwyd Pension Fund website.