Leaving the Scheme
You can leave the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) at any time by giving your Council notice in writing. An election to opt out becomes effective from the end of the payment period during which you gave notification, unless your notification specifies a later date. You are recommended to obtain further information before opting out of the LGPS.
To opt out of the Scheme, please contact us.
Can I re-join the LGPS at a later date?
If you opt out once, you can re-join the LGPS at any time whilst you remain an Eligible Councillor.
If you opt out of the LGPS more than once, unless you elect to re-join the Scheme within 3 months of commencing as an Eligible Councillor with a new Council, you will only be allowed to re-join at the discretion of your Council. You can ask your Council what their policy is on this matter.
Refund of Contributions
If you have less than 3 months total membership of the scheme, you may be eligible to receive a refund of your contributions less any deductions for tax.
Alternatively, you can defer making a decision until you either re-join the same Local Government Pension Fund as a Councillor member or want to take a refund of your contributions.
If you have 3 months or more membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), your accrued benefits i.e. your pension and lump sum, will be calculated and subsequently become preserved within the Fund. This is known as a Deferred Benefit.
Your benefits will remain deferred within the LGPS until they become payable (or until you decide to transfer them). Deferred benefits become payable at age 65 (unless you opt to defer payment beyond that age), but may be put into payment at any age earlier than 65 in the event of ill health, without reduction.
You can also elect to receive your benefits early, on or after age 50 and before age 55 with your Council's consent, or at or after age 55, without your Council's consent. Your benefits will be reduced if paid before age 65 to take account of early payment (although some or all of your benefits could be protected from the reduction if you joined the LGPS before 1 October 2006 and you are a protected member). Your former Council will have discretion to waive any reduction on compassionate grounds.
It may be possible to make a transfer payment to an overseas pension scheme or arrangement that meets HM Revenue & Customs conditions.
Transferring your Benefits
If you are interested in transferring the value of your accrued pension rights to another occupational pension scheme (outside of Local Government), to a personal pension plan, to a stakeholder pension scheme or to a buy-out insurance policy you can ask for a transfer value quotation to be provided (known as the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value).
Under provisions introduced by the Pensions Act 1995, a quotation must be guaranteed for a period of 3 months from the date on which it was calculated. A written option to proceed with the guaranteed transfer value must be received within the 3 month guaranteed period.
If you opt to proceed, the normal time limit for the Scheme to pay the guaranteed transfer value will be 6 months from the Guarantee Date. If the Scheme does not make payment within this period it will need to recalculate the value as at the actual date of payment and pay the recalculated value or, if it is greater, the original value plus interest. Transfer values are calculated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997 (as amended) which comply with requirements of the Pensions Schemes Act 1993.