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 MoneyHelper service for further guidance. The MoneyHelper service has been set up by the Money & Pensions Service and brings together the support and services of the three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advise Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. MoneyHelper will help you cut through the complexity, explain what you need to do and how you can do it. Here to put you in control with impartial guidance that’s backed by government and to recommend further, trusted support if you need it.
In conjunction with any guidance provided by MoneyHelper, 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 your Employer's appointed Independent Registered Medical Practitioner).