Claim your pension

Please check the following points:

Pension age

The date when you can receive your deferred pension unreduced depends on when you stopped paying into the LGPS. See below or look at your pension statement to find out when this is.

Note: If you have more than one deferred LGPS pension, your pensions may not all be due at the same date.

You can't receive your deferred pension until you have left the job that it relates to.

You should contact us up to three months before your pension is due.

Your pension can be paid at any age on ill health grounds. You should contact your former employer who can arrange a medical assessment and decide whether your pension can be paid.

If you decide to claim your pension early, it is important that you understand that your pension and any lump sum could be reduced. If you are not sure, ask us for an estimate, see: Taking your pension early.

If you claim your pension benefits after your normal retirement age, they will be increased to reflect the fact that they being paid later than they could have been. Your pension benefits will not be backdated to your normal retirement date. 

You must claim your pension by age 75.

Note: The government sets the earliest age at which you can access your pension savings under normal circumstances. This is currently age 55 as indicated in the following sections - however it is rising to age 57 from 6 April 2028.

Left before 1 April 1998

If you left or opted out of the scheme before 1 April 1998 you can now choose to take your pension reduced from age 55.

It is no longer necessary for a member to have left all LGPS employments in order to claim their pension.

If you do not take your pension early, then you must take it at your normal retirement date (NRD). Your NRD is the earlier of:

  • The date you would have achieved 25 years membership if you had stayed in the scheme, provided that date is on or after your 60th birthday
  • Age 65

Left between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2014

If you left or opted out of the scheme between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2014 your normal pension age (NPA) is 65.

You can choose to receive your pension early at any point between 55 and 65.

You can defer claiming your pension up until the age of 75.

Left after 1 April 2014

If you left or opted out of the scheme after 1 April 2014 your normal pension age is the later of 65 or your state pension age.

You can choose to receive your pension early at any point between 55 and state pension age.

You can defer claiming your pension up until the age of 75.

Estimate of pension benefits

Your annual benefit statement will give you a good idea of what pension to expect in retirement. This can be easily viewed through our Member Portal. A new statement will be added to the Member Portal every year.

Most members can obtain an estimate of their benefits at any time through our Member Portal.

Log in our register at:

and select "Membership details" then "Retirement Estimate".

Alternatively, if you are within 18 months of claiming your pension, you can request an estimate in writing or by email. You will need to provide:

  • your National Insurance number
  • the date that you propose to claim your pension benefits

You are entitled to request one free estimate, per pension account, in a 12 month period. There will be a charge for further estimate requests.

Complete a retirement declaration form

We will normally contact you three months before your pension is due for payment and ask you to complete a Retirement Declaration form.

You can complete this form on the Member Portal. If you need the form in an alternative format, please see the Forms page on the website.

Do not complete this form more than 3 months before you wish to claim your pension.

Once we receive your form, it will take around six weeks to pay your pension and any lump sum. It will take longer if you paid AVCs, if you ask for an estimate or if we are missing any information from your employer which has caused a delay in finalising your deferred record.

More information about the retirement declaration form.

We will write to you with more information after you send us your declaration form. To find out more about when and how we will pay your pension, see: payment information.

Thinking of Ill health retirement - deferred members?

It is possible to receive your deferred pension early on ill health grounds.

What should I do?

Contact your former employer if you think you may be entitled to receive your pension on ill health grounds.

If your former employer has closed or no longer exists then you can apply to the pension fund - contact Pension Services.

Your employer must decide if you are entitled to an ill health pension. An ill health pension is paid without actuarial reductions.

There is no age limit.

What to expect:

1. Your employer will arrange a medical examination for you with an independent occupational health doctor. Your employer will base their decision on the doctor's opinion.

To qualify for an ill health pension your employer must determine that:

  • you are permanently incapable of carrying out the job that you were working in when you left the LGPS
  • members who left the LGPS after 31 March 2008, also must have a reduced likelihood of being able to take gainful employment within 3 years of applying for their ill health benefit or by their normal pension age, if earlier. Gainful employment means work of 30 hours a week for at least a year

2. If your ill health retirement is agreed, then:

  • you will need to complete a retirement declaration form and send this to Pension Services
  • your employer will send us a certificate to confirm that your ill health retirement has been agreed
  • if you have AVCs, we will contact your AVC provider and request payment; this may delay your pension - in some cases by around eight weeks

Once we have all the above documents, it will take around six weeks to start paying your pension. We will write to tell you how much your pension and any lump sum will be.

If you would like to appeal your employer's decision regarding your ill health pension, please write to your employer.