You may be able to transfer pensions you already have into the LGPS. What this would mean for you depends on what type of scheme you were a member of. You can find out more about the different types of transfers in the sections below.

Transferring your pension is not an easy decision to make. You may wish to get help from a qualified independent financial adviser.

Eligible pension schemes you can transfer from

You may be able to transfer pension rights into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from:

  • a previous LGPS Fund
  • a previous employer's pension scheme
  • a personal pension plan
  • a stakeholder pension scheme
  • an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) arrangement if from another Local Government Pension Scheme
  • in some cases, from an overseas pension scheme

You cannot transfer a pension credit into the LGPS. A pension credit is a share of an ex-spouse’s or ex-civil partner’s pension that a Court awards you under a Pension Sharing Order following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

You have 12 months from joining the LGPS to apply to transfer your previous pension rights, unless your employer and the Fund allows you longer. You cannot transfer a pension that you are currently receiving payment for.

If you have a previous LGPS pension

If you were previously a member of the LGPS and you re-join the Scheme, you can join your two periods of membership together. When you re-join the LGPS, you should tell us that you have been a member of the Scheme before. We will let you know:

  • what your choices are
  • what you need to think about when you are making your decision
  • the time limits for making your decision
  • what happens if you do not make a decision within the time limit

In most cases, your deferred benefits will be combined with your pension account automatically unless you elect to keep them separate. You must elect for separate benefits within a year of re-joining the LGPS, unless your employer allows you longer.

Different rules apply depending on what type of LGPS benefits you have, when you left the LGPS and how long you were a member:

  • You were a member of the LGPS in two jobs at the same time and one of the jobs ends. These jobs will be combined. 
  • You did not build up a right to a deferred pension in your earlier period of membership. This would generally be the case if you were in the LGPS for less than two years. If you haven’t taken a refund of pension contributions, then this deferred refund must be combined with your new pension account.
  • You left the LGPS with a deferred pension before 1 April 2014. You would have to elect to combine your deferred benefit with your active pension account. If you do not make an election, then the deferred benefits will remain separate. You must make your election within a year of re-joining the LGPS, unless your employer allows you longer.
  • You opted out after 11 April 2015 with a deferred benefit. You will not be allowed to combine this with your active pension account if you re-join the LGPS. You will have two separate pension accounts in the LGPS.
  • Your LGPS pension is in payment. You cannot combine an LGPS pension in payment with an active pension account if you re-join the Scheme. You will have two separate sets of pension benefits in the LGPS.

It may not always be in your interest to combine a deferred benefit with your active pension account and you should consider the implications on your annual allowance.

Additional Voluntary Contributions

If you have paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) to the LGPS, the value of your AVCs must be transferred to an AVC arrangement offered by your new pension fund if you re-join the LGPS and combine your main scheme benefits.

Benefits in another public service pension scheme

If you were previously a member of another public service pension scheme, we may accept a transfer under preferential rules known as the Club transfer rules. These special terms apply if you have not had a break in membership of a public service pension scheme of more than five years. Club transfer rules will not apply if you request a transfer more than a year after you join the LGPS.

Public service pension schemes include schemes for civil servants, the armed forces, teachers, NHS workers, fire and rescue workers, the police force, the judiciary and the LGPS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The extra pension will be added to your pension account in the Scheme year that your pension fund receives the transfer payment.

Other pension rights

The arrangement you transfer from must normally be another registered pension scheme or a European pensions institution. You may be able to transfer in pension benefits from an approved overseas pension scheme. We may refuse to accept a transfer from a pension scheme other than the LGPS.    

Your previous pension scheme will provide a transfer value. That transfer value would buy an amount of extra pension in the LGPS. Your request to investigate a transfer is not binding until you have seen an estimate of the amount of extra pension the transfer value would buy and confirmed that you want the transfer to go ahead.

You will need to consider carefully whether to transfer. A transfer may not always be the best decision for you. You should compare the value of the benefits you have with your current provider with what you would get in the LGPS, including the date you can retire without penalty.

The rules around transferring in are complex and dependent on individual circumstances.

We cannot offer advice on whether or not you should transfer.  You may wish to seek independent financial advice before making a decision.

It is important that you think about your options carefully and that you are aware of the deadlines that apply. You will not be able to change your decision later.

More information about transferring pension rights into the LGPS can be found at the LGPS member website. 

Apply for a transfer into the LGPS

If you would like to investigate combining previous LGPS pension rights with your current pension benefits, you will need to complete the LGPS 01A - Transfer Enquiry Authorisation Form (PDF, 687.96KB) and return it to the Fund.

No transfer will be made until you have received the relevant details and then given us authorisation to proceed.