For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in Scotland
A list of questions on popular topics. This is where you will find information about death benefits, the McCloud court case and pensions and divorce.
If you get divorced or your civil partnership is dissolved and your ex-spouse or civil partner has pension benefits in the LGPS, the Court could award you a share of those benefits. The Court could issue a pension sharing order or the benefits could be subject to a qualifying agreement in Scotland.
When the pension sharing order is implemented you will have the choice of a ‘pension credit’ in the LGPS or transferring your share to another pension scheme. Your ex-partner’s pension fund will inform you of:
If you do not make a decision in the relevant time period, you will be awarded a pension credit in the LGPS.
If you are awarded a pension credit in the LGPS you can still choose to transfer it to another pension scheme at a later date. However, you are not allowed to transfer if you are within 12 months of, or have reached, your normal pension age.
You may need to take independent financial advice before you can complete a transfer. If your pension fund thinks you are at risk of being scammed they may also require you to attend a guidance appointment with MoneyHelper or stop the transfer. Unfortunately, pension scams are on the rise in the UK. Falling victim to a pension scam could mean that you lose some or all of your pension savings. See the pension scam section for tips on how to protect yourself.
Pension credit benefits in the LGPS are personal benefits. You hold them in your own right and they are completely separate to those of your ex-spouse or civil partner.
No partner’s or children’s pensions will be payable on your death. Children’s pensions remain ‘attached’ in full to your ex-spouse’s or ex-civil partner’s benefits in the LGPS.
Your pension credit is paid without a reduction for early payment from your normal pension age. Your normal pension age depends on two things:
If the pension sharing order took effect after 31 March 2015 and your ex-spouse or civil partner was paying into the LGPS after 31 March 2015, your normal pension age is linked to your State Pension Age. This means:
If the pension sharing order took effect before 1 April 2015 or your ex-spouse or civil partner left the LGPS before 1 April 2015, your normal pension age is 65. This means:
The date that your pension credit benefits in the LGPS are payable from is totally independent of the date that your ex-spouse or civil partner takes their pension.
The pension payable to you from the LGPS is payable for life and will increase in line with the cost of living.
If you die before the pension credit has been paid to you, a death grant will be payable. If the effective date of the pension sharing order was before 1 April 2009, a death grant of three year’s pension will be payable. Otherwise, a death grant of five year’s pension will be payable. This will include any cost of living increases due since the pension sharing order took effect.
If you die before age 75 and after the pension credit has been paid to you, a death grant may be payable. If the pension sharing order’s effective date was before April 2009 and you die within five years of the pension credit being paid to you, the balance of five years of pension payments will be paid as a lump sum death grant. If the pension sharing order’s effective date was after 31 March 2009 and you die within ten years of the pension credit being paid to you, the balance of ten years of pension payments will be paid as a lump sum death grant.
Your pension credit is entirely independent of your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s LGPS pension. Your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s remaining pension will not be affected if you re-marry or enter into a new civil partnership. Similarly, your pension credit is not affected by a change in your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s marital status.
Your pension credit rights could be subject to a pension sharing order if a future marriage or civil partnership ended in divorce or dissolution.