19 October 2011 #Employment
The Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1166) (“the LGPS Regulations”) regulates the position on ill-health early retirement (“IHER”) for the Local Government Pension Scheme (“LGPS”).
Under regulation 20 of the LGPS Regulations, the employing authority must agree to an IHER pension if it decides to terminate the member`s employment because of ill health that has left an employee "permanently incapable of discharging efficiently the duties of his current employment" and with a "reduced likelihood of obtaining any gainful employment before his normal retirement age."
Mr Parry, a member of the LGPS, complained to the Deputy Ombudsman that his IHER pension was refused wrongly under regulation 20. The Deputy Ombudsman found that the employing authority had followed its medical advisors “blindly” and despite there being “sufficient anomalies in the circumstances of Mr Parry’s retirement.” The Deputy Ombudsman therefore, upheld Mr Parry’s complaint.
This determination highlights that employing authorities who make decisions on IHER should follow prescribed processes very carefully.