Pension Credit Members
A pension credit member is a former spouse or civil partner who has become a member of the LGPS through a Pensions Sharing Order, and this has granted them a share of their former spouse or civil partners pension benefits.
As a pension credit member you will have been awarded an annual pension in your own right, and may be entitled to receive a lump sum as long as your former spouse or civil partner had not already retired and received a lump sum when the order was issued.
After the Pension Sharing Order has been made, a statement with details of the value of the pension credit will be provided to you. You will also receive an Annual Benefit Statement showing how your benefits are rising in line with inflation.
When can I receive payment of my pension credits?
Pension Credits awarded pre-April 2014: Benefits are usually paid from age 65 or later if the Pension Sharing Order was issued after then. Benefits can be drawn on or after age 60 and before 65 with a reduction for early payment.
Pension Credits awarded post-April 2014: Benefits are payable at normal pension age which is the same as State Pension age. However benefits can be drawn anytime from age 55 with a reduction for early payment, or deferred until 75 with an increase for late payment.
If I remarry will my benefits cease?
Pension credit benefits are separate from those of your former partner, therefore the benefits do not cease if you remarry or enter another civil partnership. Furthermore, if your new marriage/civil partnership were to end in divorce, dissolution or annulment, your pension credit benefits could themselves be subject to a Pension Sharing Order.
Pension credit benefits do not provide survivors pensions to any eligible spouse, partner or children.
Can I transfer my Pension Credit Benefits?
You can transfer the value of your pension credit benefits to another qualifying pension scheme, up until a year before you reach Normal Pension age. Although, it is not possible to aggregate your pension credit benefits with any benefits you may hold in the LGPS in your own right as a scheme member.
You will also not be able to purchase additional benefits in the LGPS either through AVC’s or APC’s.
What happens to my Pension Credit if I die before receiving payment?
If you were to die before taking payment of your pension credit benefits then a death grant will be payable. You can nominate who you wish to receive the death grant but payment is at the discretion of the Fund.
The death grant payable is equal to three times the rate of the annual pension that would have been payable at the date of death.