Freedom and Choice
New legislation came into force on 6th April 2015 which allows more flexibility around how defined contribution (DC) pension savings e.g. personal pensions, can be brought into payment once the minimum pension age of 55 has been reached. Previously most pension savers had to use the fund they have built up to buy an annuity to provide them with an income, however the new legislation allows members to take the whole of their fund as a lump sum (part tax free and part taxable). The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a Defined Benefits scheme and therefore the new legislation does not apply to your pension benefits.
If you want to take advantage of the new legislation it may be possible for you to transfer the benefits that you have built up in the LGPS to another pension provider.
The Local Government Association have provided an employee guide to the LGPS which can be accessed here.
Due to the changes the Government has developed a free and impartial guidance service called Pension Wise - which can be accessed here.
The Money Advice Service has also produced a guide which can be accessed here https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/free-printed-guides#pensions
Don't get scammed - if you are considering transferring your pension benefits out of the LGPS please make sure that the companies/advisers that you are dealing with are legitimate.
The change in legislation has lead to an increase in pension scams where companies encourage you to transfer your benefits out of the scheme so that they can gain access to your pension savings.
If you are considering transferring out please read the following documents so that you fully understand the benefits that the LGPS provides and how to spot any potential scams
This change to legislation means that before we can process a transfer out of benefits we have to ask if you have any other benefits in the LGPS in addition to those held in the RCT Pension Fund as we have to determine whether or not a transfer is allowed under the Scheme Regulations. If a transfer is allowed then, in certain circumstances, we must have evidence that you have had advice from an appropriate independent advisor who is registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as being able to advice on the transfer of safeguarded benefits. The cost of getting this advice will be met be the member.