Claiming your benefits

This section is for members who joined from 1 October 2017 and who no longer contribute to the scheme but still hold benefits in it.

Preserved members

If you left with more than one month service you have preserved benefits.  If Legal & General know your address you should receive a statement each year showing the current value of your pension pot.

Your preserved benefits will be linked to the unit prices of your funds until you:

  • Transfer them to a new pension scheme; or
  • Claim them from OSPS.

Transferring your benefits

If you would like to transfer your benefits to a new pension scheme, you should contact them first to see if they will accept a transfer and then ask them about their transfer procedure. Some schemes do not accept transfers at all.

Your benefits will not be transferred unless you sign a form asking Legal & General to pay the money to another scheme. In some cases we may also need confirmation that you have taken independent financial advice.

If you live outside the UK you can transfer to a scheme in your new country if it is on an approved list provided by HMRC. These approved foreign schemes are called QROPS for short. For guidance on QROPS, please see the Government website.

Be careful of fraudsters contacting you making extravagant investment offers if you transfer your benefits to them or saying you can take cash out of the scheme before your minimum retirement age. These are scams. See the Pensions Regulator website for more information.

Claiming preserved benefits - Retirement

If you are age 55 you could claim your benefits at any time up to age 75.

If you do not claim your benefits from Legal & General before your scheme retirement if know your address they will contact you shortly before your scheme retirement age about claiming your benefits, but can defer your benefits beyond scheme retirement age until age 75

You will have options regarding the level of pension and cash you take, subject to government limits.

If your benefits are small enough and you are over 55 you may be able to take your benefits as a single lump sum, some of which will be taxed. This is called trivial commutation. For more information, see the Pensions Advisory Service website.

Be careful of fraudsters contacting you saying you can take cash out of the scheme before your minimum retirement age. They often use phrases like ‘free pension review’, ‘pension release’ or ‘pension liberation’. These are scams. See the Pensions Regulator website for more information.

Ill health retirement

If you are too ill to do any work you can apply to the trustees to claim your preserved benefits early without penalty. The procedure is similar to that for active members, but without the involvement of the employer. Please contact the Pensions Office for more information.

Retirement process

The retirement process is as follows:

  • not more than three months in advance of your retirement date (or upon request) Legal & General will send you a statement giving your options and enclosing forms for you to complete;
  • if they have received correctly completed forms we will set up payment of your benefits for your retirement date.

If you have any CARE section benefits all your retirement options will be handled via the Pensions Office.

Benefits options

On your retirement statement we will give you three options:

  • cash (subject to tax above the tax free amount)
  • tax free cash and/or an annuity (via an external provider)
  • income drawdown (via an external provide) if your pot is more than £30k

Payment of benefits

A cheque for your lump sum (if any) to be sent to your home address.

Death benefits

If you die with preserved benefits we will pay out the value of the preserved lump sum. The beneficiary or beneficiaries will be at the discretion of the trustees. You can fill in the Members wishes concerning disposal of Death in Preservation lump sum (NOM4) form (114kb) to guide the trustees.