Transferring from the LGPS
If your membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has ended and you do not have to take your pension, it is normally possible for you to transfer your pension to another approved pension arrangement if you have not already triggered a Benefit Crystallisation Event (any time pension benefits are due to be taken from the scheme which leads to part or all of your lifetime allowance being used) in the LGPS in England and Wales and:
- You qualify for deferred benefits and your membership ended at least 12 months before your normal pension age.
- You’ve not had a refund of contributions, do not qualify for deferred benefits, but had at least 3 months’ scheme membership and your membership ended after 31 March 2014, within the last 5 years and before your normal pension age.
- You’ve not had a refund of contributions, do not qualify for deferred benefits and your membership ended between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014 and before your normal retirement date.
- You’ve not had a refund of contributions, do not qualify for deferred benefits, but had at least 3 months’ scheme membership and your membership ended before 1 April 2008 and before your normal retirement date.
Examples of where you would have to take your pension straight away are where:
- you can’t work because of ill-health (at any age) and are awarded an ill health pension at tier one, two or three;
- flexible retirement has been agreed by your employer;
- you’ve reached the age of 55, met the 2 years qualifying service criteria and have been made redundant, or your employment has been terminated because of business efficiency;
- you’ve left your job when you have both a) reached ‘pensionable age’ and b) have a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). ‘Pensionable age’ is age 60 for women and 65 for men, and a GMP relates to being contracted-out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme at some point between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997.
Approved pension arrangements could include a new Local Government Pension Fund in England and Wales, another occupational scheme, a personal or stakeholder pension, or a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
Transfer to a new Local Government Pension Fund in England or Wales
If you take another job where you are a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales (LGPS), there will be a default position that applies to any earlier LGPS membership; this default position depends on how long you were a member, when you stopped being a member and why.
To make sure that your LGPS benefits are dealt with in the right way you must either:
- contact your new Local Government Pension Fund (LGPF) to let them know that you have previous benefits with the Cambridgeshire Fund or the Northamptonshire Fund, and that you’d like details of your options; or
- you can fill in and return the Transferring Membership between Local Government Pension Funds form on our Forms and Resources page
It is important that you get in touch as soon as possible as some of your options are only available within the first 12 months of rejoining and while still an active member of the scheme with your new employer.
Please note that if you wish to transfer your benefits to the Local Government in Scotland or Northern Ireland then use the 'transfer to another pension arrangement' section.
Transferring to another pension arrangement
If you’d like to look at transferring your pension to another arrangement other than a Local Government Pension Fund within England and Wales, you’ll need to read the ‘Transferring your Pension to another Approved Pension arrangement FAQs’ and ScamSmart leaflet and then fill in a ‘Request for a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value’ form which can be found on the forms and resources page under transferring out of the scheme. The form can be sent to us, either by:
- securely uploading to your online pension account; or
- scanning and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org We recommend that you password protect any documentation that has confidential information if possible.
- All documents and forms will only be issued from us to you, as the scheme member. We will not issue any transfer forms or documents directly to third party providers. This is to make sure you have complete oversight in the transfer proceedings
- Other schemes may have time limits within which you need to complete a transfer in to them. You will need to check this with your new arrangement.
Freedom and Choice
Since 6 April 2015 members of certain pension schemes have had more freedom over how to take the money from their pension arrangements.
This flexibility does not apply to a Defined Benefit scheme such as the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), and so does not have a direct impact on your LGPS benefits.
However, it may affect you if you are transferring your LGPS benefits to a Defined Contribution scheme, for example, you may need to get approved independent financial advice before transferring.
Important:Other schemes may have time limits within which you need to complete a transfer in to them. You will need to check this with your new arrangement.
Pension Liberation Fraud – please be aware
Pension Liberation Fraud is a scam where savers are encouraged to transfer their pension fund to an arrangement on the promise of bogus ‘pension loans’ or cash incentives.
Tax charges of over half the value of your pension could fall on you for taking an ‘unauthorised payment’ from your pension fund in this way. Plus, high fees could be taken from your pension for the transfer.
Fraud of this kind is on the rise in the UK, with people being targeted via unsolicited calls, texts and social media messages. To find out more read the Pensions Regulator’s guidance or visit the Financial Conduct Authority's ScamSmart website