Pensions Wise Service
Over recent months there has been a great deal of information in the media and elsewhere about the Government's announcement in the 2014 Budget that reforms to workplace pensions would be made, effective from 6 April 2015. These reforms offer greater flexibility (Freedom and Choice) in the way individuals aged 55 and over can access any Defined Contribution (DC) pension savings they may have.
It's important that as a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), you understand that you are a member of a public sector Defined Benefit (DB) scheme and therefore the flexibilities being introduced under 'Freedom and Choice' do NOT impact on how you can take your Defined Benefits from the LGPS.
There are, however, some indirect changes which will impact upon any members of the LGPS who are considering transferring the value of their accrued LGPS Defined Benefit pension rights from the LGPS to a DC arrangement offering 'flexible benefits'.
Before making any decision to transfer your benefits from the LGPS, please refer to the Pension Wise service for further guidance. Pension Wise is the free Government service which provides guidance for people with Defined Contribution pension savings (not Defined Benefit such as the Local Government Pension Scheme). The service, which is available to those aged 50 and over, explains the options to individuals regarding the new pension freedoms introduced in April 2015. Visit the official website www.pensionwise.gov.uk, or phone the national contact centre on 0300 330 1001.
The local Pension Wise Delivery Centre for Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire is Ceredigion Citizens Advice Bureau:
While the contact details for the Delivery Centre for Pembrokeshire are:
In conjunction with any guidance provided by Pension Wise, you should also consider taking Independent Financial Advice to help you choose the most appropriate option.
All pension schemes are governed by regulations that set out when and how you can draw your pension benefits, which safeguards your benefits until your retirement. Under current LGPS regulations, you are able to retire voluntarily from age 55, although your benefits may become payable earlier on ill health grounds (subject to certification from the Fund's Independent Registered Medical Practitioner).