Councillors in England could not join the LGPS from 1 April 2014. 

Councillor members in England who were members of the Scheme on 31 March 2014 were able to remain in the LGPS until the end of their term of office. A councillor’s membership would have ended earlier if they reached age 75 or elected to opt out of the Scheme. They were not able to re-join the LGPS in any subsequent term of office.

You can download the LGPS Councillors Pensions Update (PDF, 149.18KB) which provides the background to the changes. It also provides an update on the position for councillor members of the LGPS in England following the changes introduced on 1 April 2014. 

Options on leaving the Scheme

If you are a councillor or elected mayor who has left the LGPS, you can take your pension benefits after you reach age 55. You must take your pension benefits before age 75.

If you qualified for pension benefits in the LGPS but did not take them when you left the Scheme, you are entitled to deferred benefits. These deferred benefits will be paid at age 65 unless:

  • you choose to defer payment beyond that age, up to age 75 at the latest
  • you elect to have them paid between age 55 and age 65
  • you request payment between age 50 and 55 – you would need your council’s consent and you would have to pay a tax charge if your pension is paid before age 55
  • you become permanently incapable of discharging efficiently the duties of the office you had held, because of ill health or infirmity of mind or body. If this happens, the deferred benefits can be paid immediately, whatever your age.

If your pension is paid after age 65, it will be paid at an increased rate. If your pension is paid before age 65, it may be reduced for early payment. Some or all of your benefits may be protected from the reduction if you joined the Scheme before 1 October 2006. Your council can agree not to make a reduction on compassionate grounds.

Please see the early and late retirement sections of the Guide to the LGPS for Eligible Councillors (PDF, 658.8KB) for more information. If your deferred benefits are paid early due to your permanent ill health, they would not be reduced for early payment.

You may be able to transfer the value of your deferred benefits to another pension scheme. Please see the ‘Ceasing to be a councillor before retirement’ section of the Guide to the LGPS for Eligible Councillors (PDF, 658.8KB) for more information.