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  • FIRST POST
    • turnipgoat53
    • By turnipgoat53 8th Feb 18, 9:49 PM
    • 4Posts
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    turnipgoat53
    Accessing Occupational Pension at 53
    • #1
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:49 PM
    Accessing Occupational Pension at 53 8th Feb 18 at 9:49 PM
    Hello and thank you for looking at this thread. Long story short: have worked in local government for 20 + years, with significant mental health needs that have required some time off work, but not for over 9+ years.

    I know I am not well at the moment, and my employers are starting improving performance measures. I have asked to access my pension but have been told to resign and wait till state retirement age- also been told if I go sick I will simply be fired . Itís all too much. Can anyone advise on whether itís possible to get my pension so I can at least have some income. Any advice very gratefully received.Turnip
Page 1
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 8th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    • 25,157 Posts
    • 14,819 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #2
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    I have asked to access my pension but have been told to resign and wait till state retirement age- also been told if I go sick I will simply be fired
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/common-situations/discrimination-at-work-bullying-and-harassment/

    Are you a member of a union?

    Have you seen your doctor?
    • turnipgoat53
    • By turnipgoat53 8th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    turnipgoat53
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    Thank you for the reply. I am not in a Union but will contact my GP . My husband is telling me to stop working , but I do feel both bullied and that I have an illness that should be recognised under the Disability Discrimination Act.
    As you can imagine, today has not been a good day !
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 8th Feb 18, 10:39 PM
    • 2,236 Posts
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    Alexland
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:39 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:39 PM
    It sounds like you are being put under an unfair level of pressure. I agree with Xylophone that you are potentially a victim of workplace bullying and harassment and you should seek urgent advice before taking any action you might later regret.

    If there is a union it may be worth joining. Even though this problem started before you became a member I would expect in the circumstances they will still provide you with support.
    Last edited by Alexland; 08-02-2018 at 11:09 PM.
    • turnipgoat53
    • By turnipgoat53 8th Feb 18, 10:52 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    turnipgoat53
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:52 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:52 PM
    Thank you for the advice and reply
    Will look at Union options and join
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 8th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    • 2,236 Posts
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    Alexland
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    It's also worth reading your employer's policy and procedures for managing harassment and bullying cases.

    It may be that your employer will provide support outside of your immediate colleagues and management. Some employers provide a confidential employee assistance programme run by a specialist external organisation.

    Alternatively if you have trusted colleagues in the HR department or in a position of influence in the business these can also be useful in getting the situation resolved.

    Alex
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 8th Feb 18, 11:10 PM
    • 10,359 Posts
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    kidmugsy
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:10 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:10 PM
    Thank you for the advice and reply
    Will look at Union options and join
    Originally posted by turnipgoat53
    I belonged to a union for years. They were useless, or worse, in almost every way, except sometimes dealing with "personal cases". So you can have reason to hope they will be able to help you.
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • turnipgoat53
    • By turnipgoat53 8th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    turnipgoat53
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    Thank you for your reply. I am getting increasingly cross with my Employers so will try to channel this anger in a healthy way to fight my corner.... they could of course just let me retire early on health grounds as I asked
    T
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 8th Feb 18, 11:24 PM
    • 2,236 Posts
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    Alexland
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:24 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:24 PM
    Try not to get cross - keeping a cool head is more likely to get a better result. I find it helps to zoom out and take a helicopter view of the situation looking down (imagine the view from the ceiling) on the physical and verbal interactions acting as an impartial observer trying to understand the cause of the friction. Be careful not to 'take the bait' and endup in a row where both parties are to blame.

    I belonged to a union for years. They were useless, or worse, in almost every way, except sometimes dealing with "personal cases". So you can have reason to hope they will be able to help you.
    Originally posted by kidmugsy
    The larger unions have a full head office support function which tends to be a more consistent level of support than the local reps who can vary in quality. I once had reason to phone a union's legal advice line and the service I received was very good.

    Also before anyone complains that I am a union leftie I am also a manager who has the unfortunate task of explaining to a small group of people who I like and have known for years that their roles are 'at risk' and starting a redundancy consultation next week. At least 2 of them are union members but they will all be treated equally, fairly and with compassion. That's what good employers do whatever the situation. And that's how the OP should be treated. Nothing more nothing less.
    Last edited by Alexland; 08-02-2018 at 11:54 PM.
    • hyubh
    • By hyubh 9th Feb 18, 12:11 AM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 1,606 Thanks
    hyubh
    Can anyone advise on whether itís possible to get my pension so I can at least have some income.
    Originally posted by turnipgoat53
    At age 53, this would have to be for an ill health retirement. While there are three 'tiers' of ill health retirement in the LGPS, common to all is that (a) your employment must be terminated for reasons of ill health (b) you are plausibly considered 'permanently incapable' of doing your present job and (c) you are 'not immediately capable' of taking a different job (any employer):

    http://www.lgpsregs.org/schemeregs/lgpsregs2013/timeline.php#r35
    https://www.lgpsmember.org/tol/thinking-leaving-illhealth.php

    The decision to grant an ill health retirement in the LGPS is the employer's, though this must be after taking advice from an independent medical practitioner. You will need to approach HR about it, if you haven't already.

    they could of course just let me retire early on health grounds as I asked
    'Just' doing such a thing costs money though, and there is a due process to follow.
    • Lungboy
    • By Lungboy 9th Feb 18, 7:31 AM
    • 1,323 Posts
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    Lungboy
    Try posting this in the employment forum, there are some very knowledgeable people in there too.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 9th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • 4,780 Posts
    • 1,988 Thanks
    brewerdave
    Thank you for your reply. I am getting increasingly cross with my Employers so will try to channel this anger in a healthy way to fight my corner.... they could of course just let me retire early on health grounds as I asked
    T
    Originally posted by turnipgoat53
    Unfortunately for you, more and more DB schemes are fighting against granting early retirements on ill health grounds because it costs them too much at a time when such schemes are underfunded.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 9th Feb 18, 9:22 AM
    • 2,537 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    hyubh (post 10) is right, although there is another option which is more common than ill health retirement. That is 'dismissal on health grounds'. In these cases, anyone who is under 55 has their benefits deferred until they reach 55 when their benefits are payable under normal terms - ie, fully reduced for early payment.

    The costs of ill health pensions, whilst expensive, are not an issue here - it's 100% down to the Occupational Health Dr. (Ok, the employer applies the final rubber stamp, but I've never known an employer overturn an ill health recommendation).

    As a bit of background, unlike redundancy cases whereby employers have to pay a sum of money to pay the strain costs, no such costs apply to ill health cases. It's the pension fund that carries the extra cost.

    OP - I'm not an employment law expert, so I'll leave that to the others. From a LGPS point of view, however, you are entitled to ask HR for an Occ Health referral with a view to possible ill health retirement.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 09-02-2018 at 12:16 PM.
    • LXdaddy
    • By LXdaddy 9th Feb 18, 6:20 PM
    • 680 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    LXdaddy
    Can anyone advise on whether itís possible to get my pension so I can at least have some income. Any advice very gratefully received.Turnip
    Originally posted by turnipgoat53
    I am not an expert on the specifics of LGPS.

    You can't access a pension before age 55 except for retirement on ill health grounds. The trustee of the scheme have to be presented with sufficient medical evidence that you are incapable of working, are unlikely to return to work and have no possibility of finding work elsewhere.

    The pension paid is then generally reduced to take account of your age but I would imagine that at age 53 it is likely that it would be calculated on the basis as if you retired at age 55.

    The specific scheme rules will determine what basis is used.
    • hyubh
    • By hyubh 9th Feb 18, 6:37 PM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 1,606 Thanks
    hyubh
    You can't access a pension before age 55 except for retirement on ill health grounds. The trustee of the scheme have to be presented with sufficient medical evidence that you are incapable of working, are unlikely to return to work and have no possibility of finding work elsewhere.
    Originally posted by LXdaddy
    In the LGPS, it's the employer, not the administering authority (= trustees equivalent) that decide this, albeit on the basis of an assessment by an independent registered medical practitioner acceptable to the administering authority.

    The pension paid is then generally reduced to take account of your age but I would imagine that at age 53 it is likely that it would be calculated on the basis as if you retired at age 55.
    This is not the case in the LGPS, on either point. (On the flipside, for a tier 3 ill health retirement, there is the possibility of the pension stopping and going back to be a preserved member.)

    The specific scheme rules will determine what basis is used.
    I gave a direct link to the specific scheme rules earlier:

    http://www.lgpsregs.org/schemeregs/lgpsregs2013/timeline.php#r35
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 9th Feb 18, 9:25 PM
    • 2,537 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    !!!8220; The pension paid is then generally reduced to take account of your age but I would imagine that at age 53 it is likely that it would be calculated on the basis as if you retired at age 55. Posted by LXdaddy

    !!!8221;
    This is not the case in the LGPS, on either point. (On the flipside, for a tier 3 ill health retirement, there is the possibility of the pension stopping and going back to be a preserved member.) Posted by hyubh
    LGPS:

    Tier 1. Service enhanced to State pension age, no reductions for early payment.

    Tier 2. Pension accrued to date of leaving enhanced by 25%, no reductions for early payment.

    Tier 3. No enhancement, no reduction for early payment. (Payment limited, as member expected to be able return to work).

    Payment of deferred benefits on ill health grounds: No reduction for early payment. (No tiers, no enhancements).
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