Councillors in England
This section provides an update for councillors in England. You should read it in conjunction with the Full guide to the LGPS for councillors.
Access to the LGPS
Councillors in England could not join the LGPS from 1 April 2014. This also applied to elected mayors in England, the Mayor of London and members of the London Assembly. Those who were already members of the LGPS could remain in the Scheme until the end of the term of office they were in on 31 March 2014. A term of office ends on the fourth day after the ordinary day of election of councillors. A councillor’s membership would have ended earlier if they reached age 75 or elected to opt out of the Scheme.
Councillors are not allowed to re-join the LGPS when they are re-elected.
Police and Crime Commissioners are eligible for membership of the LGPS.
Options on leaving the Scheme
If you are a councillor or elected mayor who has left the LGPS, you can take your pension benefits after you reach age 55. You must take your pension benefits before age 75.
If you qualified for pension benefits in the LGPS but did not take them when you left the Scheme, you are entitled to deferred benefits. These deferred benefits will be paid at age 65 unless:
- you choose to defer payment beyond that age, up to age 75 at the latest
- you elect to have them paid between age 55 and age 65
- you request payment between age 50 and 55 – you would need your council’s consent and you would have to pay a tax charge if your pension is paid before age 55
- you become permanently incapable of discharging efficiently the duties of the office you had held because of ill health or infirmity of mind or body. If this happens, the deferred benefits can be paid immediately, whatever your age.
If your pension is paid after age 65, it will be paid at an increased rate. If your pension is paid before age 65, it may be reduced for early payment. Some or all of your benefits may be protected from the reduction if you joined the Scheme before 1 October 2006. Your council can agree not to make a reduction on compassionate grounds.
Please see the early and late retirement sections of the Full guide to the LGPS for councillors for more information.
If your deferred benefits are paid early due to your permanent ill health, they would not be reduced for early payment.
You may be able to transfer the value of your deferred benefits to another pension scheme. Please see the ‘Ceasing to be a councillor before retirement’ section of the Full guide to the LGPS for councillors for more information.