If you are opting out of the scheme because you are suffering financial difficulties, you may wish to consider opting into the 50/50 section instead. The 50/50 section allows you to pay half your contributions and build up half your benefits. Find out about the 50/50 section
Considerations before opting out
You may wish to consider these 10 good reasons why you should be a member of the LGPS:
- Tax relief on the contributions you pay
- Your employer contributes too, sharing the cost of your benefits
- Safe and guaranteed with no investment risk
- Life cover of 3 times your pay – no medical is required
- Ill health retirement benefits at any age (conditions apply)
- Payment of a death grant lump sum and survivor's pension if you die
- No hidden fees or administration charges
- Easy – contributions deducted from your salary
- Tax free lump sum as well as a yearly pension
- Your pension increases with the cost of living
Use the pension contribution calculator. It tells you your rate and contributions in the main and 50/50 section of the scheme.
What happens when you opt out
Your membership in the scheme includes transferred in pension rights and other LGPS pension rights. Other LGPS pension rights include:
- separate current pension accounts
- deferred benefits, and
- pensions in payment.
When you opt out you receive a refund or a deferred benefit. It depends on the length of your membership in the scheme.
How to opt out
Complete the opt out form (PDF, 201.4 KB). Send it to your employer, not to us.
You must complete a separate opt out form for each employment in which you decide not to be a member of the LGPS.
You can only sign and date the form once you have commenced employment in a post or you have been automatically enrolled in the LGPS. If you sign and date the form before then, it will be treated as an invalid opt out and returned to you. Contributions continue to be taken until a valid form is received.
Sending your opt out form
You must send it to your employer, not to us. If you are unsure who your employer is, you should ask your Line Manager. Your employer informs us of your decision.
If you send the form to the wrong address, it will be returned to you. This could exempt you from a refund of contributions through the payroll, as your membership could exceed 3 months by the time the form is received by your employer. If you are not sure where your employer wants the opt out form sent to, you should ask them.
Some employers may allow the form to be sent to them electronically. If you prefer to do this, contact your employer to find out if they allow this. Ask for their email address and find out about their procedure for the opt out form. It is a requirement that the email must contain a particular statement by you. You should ask your employer what this is.
Automatically entered into the LGPS again
If you change posts, even with the same employer, you may be re-entered into the scheme. You should check your payslip to see if this happens to you. Complete an opt out form (PDF, 201.4 KB) if you do not want to remain in the scheme. You must complete an opt out form again because your previous form relates to your previous post.
Under the government's automatic enrolment legislation, employers must enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension every 3 years if they meet certain criteria. Your employer will let you know when this happens. Complete an opt out form (PDF, 201.4 KB) again at this time if you do not want to remain in the scheme. Find out about automatic enrolment
As your employment continues you may meet certain criteria which you previously did not. Your employer will have to enrol you into a workplace pension scheme at any time this happens and they will let you know. you can opt out again at anytime.
Opting back in
You can rejoin the LGPS at anytime, provided you are under age 75 and remain working for an employer which offers membership of the LGPS.
Complete an opt in form (PDF, 96.4 KB). Return it to your employer. You will then be admitted to the scheme from the next available pay period. You cannot backdate your membership.
Having a deferred pension and rejoining the scheme
If you opted out after 11 April 2015, you cannot join your deferred pension with your new pension account. You start to build up a separate pension.
Having a deferred pension and being made redundant
Your deferred pension is not payable if you are made redundant. It is payable at your normal pension age. You can take it from age 55 but it will be reduced for being paid earlier.
If you are made redundant whilst a current member of the LGPS for more than 2 years and you are over age 55, your pension is paid immediately. View information about early retirement on the grounds of redundancy or efficiency