The government have recently confirmed some changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), which came into force on 10 January 2019:
Civil partnerships and same-sex marriages
The LGPS regulations relating to survivor benefits for a registered civil partner or a same-sex spouse of a deceased scheme member have changed.
The revised regulations now confirm that when a scheme member dies, a surviving civil partner or same-sex spouse must receive the same benefits which would be left to the widow of a male scheme member.
The new regulation is backdated to when registered civil partnerships were introduced on 5 December 2005 and same-sex marriage was introduced on 13 March 2014.
This means that where a scheme member, who was in a civil partnership or same-sex marriage, has died since the dates above, the survivor’s pension may need to be reviewed, and any additional amounts paid where required.
The new regulations will be automatically applied following the death of scheme members in civil partnerships or same-sex marriages from now onwards.
We’re currently working to identify members who receive a survivor’s pension and will be affected by the new rule. We will contact those members in due course, however, if you think that you might be affected, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Access to pension benefits for scheme members who left before 1 April 1998
The revised regulations also included a change which removes restrictions in drawing pension benefits for scheme members who left before 1 April 1998. The new regulation is backdated to 17 April 2018.
Former members of the LGPS are able to draw their pension from age 55, however, those who left before 1 April 1998 could not do so until they left all local government employment. That restriction has been removed and all members who are aged 55+ can now choose to draw their deferred pensions while continuing in local government employment.
We will soon be contacting all deferred scheme members who left before 1 April 1998 and are aged over 53 to notify them of the revised rule. If you are a deferred member and would like to draw your pension benefits at age 55 or over, please write to the Fund with your details and the future date that you want to receive your pension from.
Please contact us about 3 months before the date you want your pension to start from.