If you have pension benefits in another public sector pension scheme
If you were previously a member of another public service pension scheme the transfer may be accepted under preferential rules known as the club transfer rules. These special terms apply provided you have not had a break in active membership of a public service pension scheme for more than 5 years.
Public service pension schemes include a pension scheme for civil servants, the armed forces, teachers, health service workers, fire and rescue workers, the police force, the judiciary and the LGPS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
If the transfer is accepted under the club transfer rules the amount of extra pension which is added to your pension account will normally be broadly equal to the amount of pension you had built up in your pension account with your previous pension scheme. The amount of pension that is added to your account will be adjusted to take into account any differences between the two schemes and will, whilst you are an active member of the LGPS, be increased by the revaluation rate that applied to your previous scheme.
The extra pension will be added to your pension account in the year that the transfer payment is received.
You have only 12 months from joining the LGPS to opt to transfer your previous pension rights, unless your employer and your administering authority allows you longer. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer and administering authority what their policy is on this matter.
Final salary membership
If the transfer includes a final salary element (membership built up in a final salary scheme which in most cases is membership up to 31 March 2015) that element would buy final salary scheme membership in the LGPS, provided you have not had a continuous break in active membership of a public service pension scheme of more than 5 years.
Most public service pension schemes provided final salary pension benefits on membership up to 31 March 2015 (except the LGPS in England and Wales which is up to 31 March 2014). In a final salary scheme your pension benefits are based on your membership in the scheme and your final salary when you leave the scheme. Your final salary is usually the pensionable pay earned in the year prior to leaving the scheme. To see an example of how final salary benefits were calculated in the LGPS in England & Wales up to 31 March 2014 see the section on how is your pension calculated?
A club transfer value will give you broadly equivalent benefits in the LGPS, provided you apply for the transfer within 12 months of joining the LGPS.
Transferring your pension rights is not always an easy decision to make, and you may wish to seek the help of an independent financial adviser.