Do I have underpin protection?
If you were a member of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 there are additional protections in place if you are nearing retirement. This is to ensure that you will get a pension at least equal to that which you would have received in the Scheme had it not changed on the 1 April 2014.
This protection is known as the underpin. The underpin applies to you if you were:
an active member on 31 March 2012, and
you are within 10 years of your protected Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012, and
you haven’t had a continuous break in active membership of a public service pension scheme of more than 5 years (after 31 March 2012), and
you've not drawn any benefits in the LGPS before protected Normal Pension Age, and
you leave with an immediate entitlement to benefits.
The underpin will not apply to you if:
- you elect to opt out of the Scheme before your protected Normal Pension Age, or
- you wish to draw benefits from an age where you would have required employer consent to do so under the pre-1 April 2014 scheme (normally pre age 60), or
- you leave the Scheme with a deferred benefit and, at the date of leaving, you would have required your employer's consent to take payment of those benefits under the pre-1 April 2014 scheme (normally pre age 60)
If you are covered by the underpin, a calculation will be performed at the date you cease to contribute to the LGPS, or at your protected Normal Pension Age if earlier.
This calculation will check that the pension you have built up (or, if you have been in the 50/50 section at any time, the pension you would have built up had you always been in the main section of the Scheme) is at least equal to that which you would have received had the Scheme not changed on 1 April 2014. If it isn’t, the difference will be added into your pension account when you draw your benefits.
The Fund will carry out this underpin check if you meet the above criteria.