If you have pension benefits in a non-LGPS pension scheme
If you have paid into a non-LGPS pension scheme, you may be able to transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS. A non-LGPS arrangement must be another registered pension scheme or a European pensions institution.
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.
If you opt to transfer pension rights from a non-LGPS pension scheme then a sum of money called a transfer value is offered to buy an amount of extra pension which is added to your pension account. If you transfer your previous pension rights into the LGPS your retirement benefits will be increased. The extra pension is added to your pension account in the scheme year that the transfer payment is received.
Any request you make to investigate a transfer will not be binding until you have been supplied with full details of the amount of extra pension the transfer payment will buy and subsequently confirm that you wish the transfer to go ahead.
You will need to carefully consider whether to transfer or not, as a transfer may not always be advantageous. For example, you should compare the amount of extra pension the transfer payment will buy in the LGPS, when that pension is normally payable from (i.e. your Normal Pension Age) and the other LGPS benefits (e.g. the ability to retire and draw benefits earlier than Normal Pension Age, death and survivor benefits, etc.) against the value of the package of benefits if left with your previous pension scheme provider.
Transfers from public sector schemes are treated differently if transferred in under Club transfer rules - see If you have pension rights with another public service pension scheme see the section on Transfers from another public sector pension scheme for more information.
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.
Your pension fund may decline to accept a transfer from a non-LGPS pension scheme.