How do I retire and receive my LGPS benefits?
The Personnel or Administration Office usually reminds you well in advance of your latest retirement date and if retirement is necessary for reasons of ill health, your Personnel department co-ordinates arrangements with an approved Occupational Medical Officer.
If you are interested in early retirement, you should first contact your Personnel/Administration Office for further details. If, after carefully considering all the information you decide to proceed, they liaise with all the other relevant departments and the procedure for processing your retirement benefits begins.
What does my employer and Merseyside Pension Fund need to do to process my benefits?
One of the Fund's objectives is to calculate and process a member's actual retirement pension within 7 working days of receiving all the relevant information.
Usually, your Personnel/Administration Department informs the Payroll section of your departure, giving the reason for, and the date of leaving. The Payroll section then calculates your final pay and once your pay and tax details are known, these are forwarded to your Pension Liaison Officer who establishes your final pensionable pay, the all important figure used to calculate your pension and lump sum.
To establish this figure, they have to look through all your pay records for the previous 365 days for which you received pay and in some cases the previous two years if one of these could be higher, taking into consideration and enhancing any period when you receive reduced occupational sick pay. Any strike days or days off without pay are excluded. This information is then forwarded to the Fund.
Form LGP1b - Retirement Declaration
From 6 April 2006, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) made important changes to pension schemes. Members with pensions payable from that date onwards, are required to declare all occupational and personal pension entitlement (except state, survivor's or dependant's pensions) before their pension can be paid.
All the documents and forms requested of you should be forwarded directly to the Fund who then calculate your benefits and write to you with the details soon afterwards.
Your employer usually sends you, at least three months before your retirement, a letter confirming your date of leaving, together with Form LGP1B - RETIREMENT DECLARATION. Form LGP1B requests the following details:
- Personal details
- Marital/civil partnership status
- Bank/building society
- Conversion options
- Pension from previous jobs
- AVC options
You must provide the Fund with your birth certificate and, depending on your marital status, you also need to submit appropriate documents:
- Your marriage certificate and your spouse's birth certificate
- Your Civil Partnership Schedule and your civil partner's birth certificate
- Your Decree Absolute
- Your spouse's Death Certificate
Copies of certificates are acceptable but if you send originals, these are copied and the originals returned to you straight away.
If you pay Additional Voluntary Contributions, you need to complete form LGP1B promptly. Send it directly to the Fund so that you have details of your AVC options well before your retirement and avoid any delay in the calculation of your benefits. All these documents and details are important and required in order to calculate your benefits accurately.
You need to complete details of either your bank or building society account that you wish your monthly pension to be paid into. You must also complete the section asking if you wish to convert part of your pension to a lump sum or vice versa. These details must be provided before you retire, as you cannot convert afterwards.
If you have any queries concerning your options or the calculation of pension benefits, ring the Benefits Team on 0151 242 1391.