You may be able to transfer pension rights into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from:
- a previous LGPS Fund, or
- a previous employer's pension scheme, or
- a self-employed pension plan, or
- a ‘buy-out’ policy, or
- a personal pension plan, or
- a stakeholder pension scheme, or
- an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) arrangement including, in some cases, from an overseas pension scheme.
But 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 benefits following a divorce or a dissolution of a civil partnership.
You have only 12 months from joining the LGPS to opt to transfer your previous pension rights, unless your employer and the Fund allows you longer.
If you have previous LGPS pension rights
If you re-join the LGPS after having previously built up LGPS pension rights (you previously left an LGPS employment with deferred benefits) then these deferred benefits can be joined with your new active pension account in the scheme unless you became entitled to the deferred benefit as a result of making an election, on or after 11 April 2015, to opt out of membership of the scheme. If that is the case, you will not be permitted to join the two periods of membership together and, instead, you will have two separate sets of pension benefits in the scheme.
If you re-join the LGPS after having previously left an LGPS employment without building up rights to a deferred pension but you deferred taking a refund of contributions (normally where you have less than two years membership) then this deferred refund must be joined with your new active pension account in the scheme. However, if you have had a break of more than five years in active membership of the LGPS in England or Wales, you will not be able to combine the pension in your deferred refund account with your new active pension account and must, instead, take a refund of contributions.
Where you have more than one employment and therefore more than one pension account in the LGPS you can elect which account to aggregate your previous LGPS pension rights with.
The rules around transferring in are complex and dependent on individual circumstances.
We cannot offer advice on whether or not you should transfer, therefore you may wish to seek independent financial advice before making a decision.
More detailed information can be found by downloading the Transferring Pension Rights into the LGPS guide
How do I transfer?
If you would like to investigate combining previous LGPS pension rights with your current pension benefits, complete a Transfer Enquiry Authorisation Form. No transfer will be made until you have received the relevant details and then given us authorisation to proceed.