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LGPS Ill health retirement query

Does anyone have any understanding of the Local Government Pension Regulations? I was granted my Teachers Pension in 2015 due to the rapid deterioration in my health from PPMS (diagnosed 2 years). However, when I enquired about early payment from the Cambridge LGP scheme I got this response;

Unfortunately the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations only provide for early payment of a Pension Credit on ill health grounds if the member has a life expectancy of one year or less. On the assumption that this is not the case, you may elect to receive your pension from age 60 onwards at an actuarially reduced rate. Alternatively the Pension Credit will remain deferred up to age 65.

Can anyone point me in the direction of the actual regulations where this is stated? Although I quite understand this will be true (can’t let those sickys gain anything from their disability!!! ) I cannot find it anywhere.

That’s certainly the first time I have heard of that. I was recently awarded my LG pension at the age of 56 and it was at a rate enhanced to age 65. I certainly had nothing saying I had to have less than a 1 year life expectancy. Are you a member if a Union? If so get them on the case. This just doesn’t sound right. That means only terminal cases would be entitled early retirement with a pension. Surely that’s not right.

Gary

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I am not on an LGP but am early retirement due to Ill Health from my job at British Airways some 15 years ago. Seeing others on here talking about their LG Pension what you have been told seems completely wrong.

I suggest you contact http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/ that is a free government service to advise on pensions. They can also give you a quote on your state pension when that happens.

Good luck

George

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I take it that (i) you have been a member of two separate pension schemes (ii) that the one associated with the employment you were dismissed from on the grounds of IHR came into payment straight away and (iii) that the one you are now querying relates to a different pension scheme in which you accrued a separate period of service some time in the past and of which you are now a deferred member?

It varies from scheme to scheme, but deferred members usually do not enjoy the same kind of IHR provisions as active (i.e. employed and contributing) members. Your accrued contributions in the scheme in which you are a deferred member will be safe and will come into payment at your normal retirement age (or maybe sooner with an actuarial adjustment as the scheme rules allow). But a sick deferred member wouldn’t normally be able to draw accrued benefits any earlier than a healthy one would (unless, in some cases, at death’s door, as you have discovered).

But all this is guessing because I don’t know much about your circs or anything about the particular schemes you are in and might have completely misunderstood your position anyway!

Alison

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That doesn’t sound right to me either.

I took ill health retirement from the NHS at the age of 52. I received my full pension.

Hope you get to the bottom of this.

Shazzie xx

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Thank you for all your responses.

Alison, I think you may have the solution to my issue. I am a deferred member so I will have to be at deaths door or take less money when I hit 60, good times!

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Ah well. The actuarial reductions can be pretty savage - 5% for each year taken early is typical, so 5 years early and bang goes a quarter of your pension - but if it’s any comfort, it really does cost the pension schemes to pay early - they’re not usually taking the P! Every scheme is different, though, so yours might not be as harsh as that. Definitely worth writing to them to ask for an estimate of pension at a couple of dates so that you can do your sums and work out the best balance for you.

A

The one year rule that they seem to be saying is absolute tosh. The LGPS website states quite clearly that deferred pension benefits can be paid early " on Ill health grounds at any age, without reduction, if you are no longer capable of performing the duties of your old job. You should contact your former employer to arrange a medical if this applies to you "!

Last year I was awarded I’ll health retirement from the NHS ( tier 2 unadjusted ". I had two deferred pensions, a private sector one who carried out a medical assessment through their Occ Health service and an LGPS one who merely accepted the evidence file I sent them, including he assessment that was made to grant me Ill health retirement from my current NHS employment. They put my LGPS pension into payment from the date when I originally applied.

If you need any hands on help then give your Local Citizens Advice a call and they should jump at the chance to help you (I work at CAB and our Office would certainly provide support). That being said, you shouldn’t need any help with this. I’m sent my old jokb description in with my medical evidence file and I had to complete a standard form requesting early payment of my pension due to Ill health. This was sent to the LGPS scheme administrator linked to my previous employer. They then passed this on to my previous employer for a decision. As it turned out they simply accepted the evidence that I had submitted without any need for any additional medical assessment.

The key factor in their decision process is whether you are incapable of being able to carry out the duties of your employment with the LA organisation you worked for, up until the date that you would have normally retired. This is assessed on something called the Civil Burden of proof, which is simply the balance of probabilities.

So, I would get back in contact with the LGPS scheme administrators and ask them to send you their standard form to apply for early payment of your deferred pension on the grounds of I’ll health.

Go for it and get the pension payment that you are fully entitled to!!

JC

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JC’s advice above sounds spot on.

I have a deferred LGPS pension which is about to be paid early (55) on the grounds of ill health. Like JC I submitted my file of evidence (Neuro and OH reports etc) to my previous employer and after a short phone call from their OH doctor, it was agreed. There were no deductions, I will receive the pension that I would have received at 60.

You should definitely pursue this and it is a good idea to get some support if possible. The MS Society funds a lawyer at the Disability Law Service who may well be able to help. I have found them really good.

http://www.dls.org.uk/Pages/MS-Officer.aspx

Best of luck with it all

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That is great news! I had heard rumours of pension schemes that paid out in these circs, but had not come across them personally. I am very glad to read that my gloomy prognostications were probably way too pessimistic.

Alison

Thanks everyone! I shall definitely take this forward. At 58 I could really do with this money! I could at last tell the DWP where to shove their ESA and their constant badgering for ‘proof’ of my poverty.

I am sure that you will get your LGPS pension sorted and when you contact the scheme administrators again, they may backdate your application to the first date that you actually contacted them! The prospect of not having to deal with the DWP ESA bods will be better than any medication that you could get prescribed!!!

JC

Sorry, final question. My deferred pension was as awarded as part of a pension share at divorce. Does that alter my position at all?

It shouldn’t affect the actual; ill health retirement process, that will be based on the assessment as to wether you are judged as being permanently incapable of working in the job you did, once your pension has been awarded then the terms of the pension share at divorce would probably be expected to kick in.

JC