I have pension rights in a non-LGPS arrangement
If you have paid into a non-LGPS pension arrangement, you may be able to transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS. A non-LGPS arrangement must be another registered pension scheme or a European pensions institution.
To see how a transfer from another public service pension scheme is treated, including a transfer from the LGPS in Scotland or Northern Ireland, please click here.
You have only 12 months from joining the LGPS to opt to transfer your previous pension rights, unless your employer allows you longer. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy is on this matter.
If you opt to transfer pension rights from a non-LGPS arrangement, then a sum of money called a transfer value is offered to buy an amount of extra pension which is added to your pension account. If you transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS your retirement benefits will be increased. The extra pension is added to your pension account in the scheme year that the transfer payment is received.
Any request you make to investigate a transfer will not be binding until you have been supplied with full details of the amount of extra pension the transfer payment will buy and subsequently confirm that you wish the transfer to go ahead. Transfer quotations provided by a former pension provider are guaranteed for 3 months.
You will need to carefully consider whether to transfer or not, as a transfer may not always be advantageous.
For example, you should compare the amount of extra pension the transfer payment will buy in the LGPS, when that pension is normally payable from (i.e. your Normal Pension Age) and the other LGPS benefits (e.g. the ability to retire and draw benefits earlier than Normal Pension Age, death and survivor benefits, etc.) against the value of the package of benefits if left with your previous pension scheme provider.
Transfers from public sector schemes are treated differently if transferred in under Club transfer rules - see the section I have pension rights with another public service pension scheme for more information on these type of transfers.
Transferring your pension rights is not always an easy decision to make, and you may wish to seek the help of an independent financial adviser.