June 2019 - Some changes have been made to the Pension Scheme Regulations

 

On 28th June 2019 changes were made to the pension scheme regulations –

The key points are –

  • Deferred members who have attained age 55 can now elect to have their benefits paid providing they are no longer in the employment which gave rise to the benefit, i.e. if you opted out then you must be in a different local government employment than you were at the date of opting out in order to access benefits.  It important to note that benefits taken prior to the normal scheme pension age will be subject to an early payment reduction.

 

  • Where a member retires on ill health grounds and prior to being retired has suffered a drop in pay from having worked reduced hours due to illness, then in calculating scheme benefits, no account is to be taken of the reduction in pay. This provision has been backdated to 1st April 2015.

 

  • For a pension to be payable to a surviving partner certain conditions must be met, and the regulations regarding this have been amended. Previously, at the time of death, a member had to have been legally free to marry/form a civil partnership for a period of at least 2 years. The changes made to the regulations mean that the member needs only to have been free to marry/form a civil partnership at the time of death. Other conditions however continue to apply (e.g. the member and partner must have been living together as a married couple/civil partners for at least 2 years and have been financially interdependent or the partner dependent on the member).

 

  • Where a member is on authorised leave for a continuous period of less than 31 days (other than through illness or injury) and has reduced pay or nil pay, then on their return they must pay their member contributions based on the pay they would have received but for the absence.

 

  • Member contributions cannot be made on or after the day prior to a member’s 75th birthday. 

The full list of changes are contained in the Local Government Pension Scheme (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/161)

This update is for information purposes only and does not override the statutory terms of the Scheme Regulations.