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. You may also receive a lump sum. This depends on if your former spouse or civil partner has already retired and taken a lump sum when the order was issued.
After the Pension Sharing Order has been made, a statement of the value of the pension credit will be given to you. You will also get an annual benefit statement showing how your benefits are increasing in line with inflation.
When can I take my pension credit?
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 taken on or after age 60 and before 65 with a reduction for early payment.
Pension credits awarded post-April 2014: Benefits are due to be paid at normal pension age. This is the same as State Pension age. However, you can take your benefits early from age 55 with a reduction for early payment. You can also defer them until 75 with an increase for late payment.
If I remarry will my benefits stop?
Pension credit benefits are separate from those of your former spouse or partner. This means the benefits don’t stop if you remarry or enter another civil partnership. However, if your new marriage or civil partnership were to end in divorce, dissolution or annulment, your pension credit benefits could have a Pension Sharing Order applied to them.
Pension credit benefits don’t provide survivor pensions to a spouse, partner or children.
Can I transfer my pension credits?
You can transfer the value of your pension credits to another pension scheme, if it is registered with HMRC. Benefits can be transferred out of the scheme until a year before your normal pension age.
You can’t however, join your pension credits with any other LGPS benefits you may have.
You also can’t buy extra pension in the LGPS through AVCs or APCs.
What happens to my pension credits if I die before payment?
If I die before taking your pension credit benefits, a death grant will be due. You can choose who you would like to receive the death grant. However, the final decision is made by us, but we will consider your wishes.
The death grant would be three times the annual pension that would have been due to you.