If you are eligible for membership of the LGPS, you will automatically become a member unless you are employed by a designating body or admitted body, where you have to elect to join. You can leave the LGPS at any time by giving your employer notice in writing. The opt-out form is available from the Pension Section or from this website and will normally take affect from the next available pay period after the option is received.
You are recommended to obtain independent financial advice before making a decision to opt-out of the LGPS.
If you opt-out within three months of joining you will be treated as not having been a member of the LGPS during that period. The contributions that you have paid will be refunded by your employer less any deductions for tax and the cost of buying you back into the State Second Pension Scheme (S2P).
If you opt-out after three months but within two years of joining, you are entitled to a refund of your pension contributions. If you have more than two years’ membership or have transferred in previous pension rights, or already have a deferred pension or pension in payment with another LGPS Fund in England or Wales you are entitled to a deferred benefit.
You can rejoin the LGPS at a later date if you wish.
Refund of Contributions
If you leave, or opt-out with less than two years’ membership, have not brought a transfer into the LGPS and do not already have a deferred pension or pension in payment with another LGPS Fund in England or Wales, you may take a refund of your contributions less any deductions for tax and the cost of buying you back into the State Second Pension Scheme (S2P).
If you opt-out after two years’ membership you are entitled to a deferred pension.
If you leave before normal pension age and have at least two years’ LGPS membership or have transferred in previous pension rights, or already have a deferred pension or pension in payment with another LGPS Fund in England or Wales, you will be entitled to deferred benefits in the LGPS.
Transferring your benefits
Alternatively, you may transfer your pension benefits to:
- Another Local Government Pension Fund
- If you re-join the LGPS with a new employer, you can transfer your LGPS membership to your new LGPS membership.
- You only have 12 months from re-joining the LGPS to opt to transfer previous LGPS membership, unless your employer allows you longer
- Your new employer’s pension scheme (if they are willing and able to accept it)
- A personal pension.
If you have more than 2 years’ LGPS membership or have transferred in any previous pension rights, at retirement, you are entitled to an index-linked pension guaranteed for life.
Click here to see how your benefits are calculated.