Retirement at Normal Pension Age (NPA): This is the same as your State Pension Age. Your benefits in the 2014 scheme are payable from your NPA and will be reduced if taken before that age. (You may have some protection if you were an active member before 1 October 2006).
Retirement at Age 65: This is the normal Retirement Age for benefits built up before 1 April 2014. If you take your benefits at age 65 any benefits built up before 1 April 2014 will be payable unreduced but there will be a reduction to benefits built up after 1 April 2014. (You may have some protection if you were an active member before 1 October 2006).
Retirement before Normal Pension Age: You can choose to retire and draw your pension from age 55. You do not need your employer's consent to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age. Your pension is normally reduced if it is paid before your Normal Pension Age.
If you built up pension in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 then protections are in place for the Normal Pension Age that applies to those benefits. In addition you may have Rule of 85 protections which mean that you will not suffer an actuarial reduction to some or all of your benefits. You will not receive full Rule of 85 protection if you voluntarily take your benefits between 55 and 60. Reductions to pension benefits are explained here.
In all cases you will need to have at least two years' service in the scheme to have the right to a retirement benefit.
It is possible to take flexible retirement with the employer's consent from age 55 where the number of hours worked reduces or the employee moves into a lower graded post. This is at the discretion of your employer. Flexible Retirement Q & A Sheet
Ill health retirement
To qualify for ill health benefits you must have 2 years' service in the scheme. Your employer, based on an opinion from an independent occupational health physician appointed by them, must be satisfied that you will be permanently unable to do your own job until your Normal Pension Age and that you are not immediately capable of undertaking gainful employment.
Ill health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced on account of early payment – in fact, your benefits could be increased to make up for your early retirement.The different levels of benefit are: