Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Ill health early retirement – no duty to advise employee about ill health pension option – LGPS
A complaint was made to the Pensions Ombudsmen by Mrs Sarah Ascough, the widow of a member of the LGPS who died in 2014. The member had applied for and been awarded an actuarially reduced ill health early retirement (IHER) pension from deferred status under regulation 31 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007, 4 months after he was made redundant, rather than an enhanced IHER pension under Regulation 20 while he was still employed. The outcome was that the Ombudsman considered that the employing authority which operated the LGPS had no duty to advise the member of the option of applying for an enhanced ill health early retirement pension from active status when he was made redundant in 2013 although the employing authority knew he had taken sick leave in 2010 for a brain tumour. The Ombudsman held that, even if the member had informed his employer about his deteriorating health whilst still employed, which he did not do, unless he had applied for an ill health pension his employer was under no duty to advise him of the option of taking ill health retirement. The Ombudsman also held that there was no evidence that the local council, his employer, had misled the member into believing that his pension would be the same under either regulation.
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