TRANSFERRING BENEFITS INTO THE LGPS
- Can I transfer pension rights into the LGPS from a previous pension scheme?
You may be able to transfer pension rights into the LGPS from:
- a previous LGPS Fund, or
- a previous employer's pension scheme (including an overseas occupational pension scheme), or
- a self-employed pension plan, or
- a 'buy-out' policy, or
- a personal pension plan, or
- a stakeholder pension scheme
Transferring previous LGPS membership into the Scheme
If you are re-joining the LGPS with a new employer, you must elect to transfer your previous LGPS membership to your new LGPS membership, as this will not be transferred automatically. Your benefits will then be based upon your entire period of LGPS membership and linked to your final pay on leaving your new job.
- you only have 12 MONTHS from re-joining the LGPS to opt to transfer, unless your employer allows you longer
- Councillors can only transfer previous LGPS membership as a Councillor within the same Fund and benefits are based on your career average pay, rather than final pay.
If you are moving to a job which is less well paid, you will need to decide whether it may be better to leave your benefits in your old employer's fund.
Transferring pension rights from another pension scheme with a previous job
If this applies to you, you may be able to transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS. You have only 12 MONTHS from joining the LGPS to request transfer of your previous pension rights, unless your employer allows you longer.
Your previous pension provider will offer the LGPS a cash equivalent amount that buys you extra membership in the LGPS. If you transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS, your retirement benefits will be based on your period of membership (including the membership bought by the transfer) and final pay on leaving your job.
Councillors cannot transfer previous pension rights into the LGPS from any other pension scheme or local authority fund.
How to transfer benefits
To transfer previous pension rights into the LGPS you must complete, sign and return Membership Form LGP2 to your employer's payroll section within 12 MONTHS of joining the Scheme.
Any request you make to investigate a transfer will not be binding until you have been supplied with full details and subsequently confirm that you wish the transfer to go ahead.
Carefully consider whether to transfer or not. Compare the quotation of LGPS membership and the value of LGPS benefits attached to that membership against the value of the package of benefits if left with your previous pension scheme provider.
You may wish to take independent financial advice before making this decision.
I've lost trace of my previous pension provider
It's easy to lose touch with your former pension schemes - if you have, don't worry.
The Pension Tracing Service can help, it holds details of almost 200,000 UK pension schemes and provides a tracing service free of charge.