Other pension rights
You may be able to transfer pension rights into the LGPS from:
- a previous employer’s pension scheme
- a self-employed pension plan
- a pension ‘buy-out’ policy
- a personal pension plan
- a stakeholder pension scheme
- an Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) arrangement.
The arrangement you transfer from must normally be another registered pension scheme or a European pensions institution. You may be able to transfer in pension benefits from an approved overseas pension scheme. Your pension fund may refuse to accept a transfer from a pension scheme other than the LGPS.
Your previous pension scheme will offer a sum of money called a transfer value. That transfer value would buy an amount of extra pension in the LGPS. Your request to investigate a transfer is not binding until you have seen an estimate of the amount of extra pension the transfer value would buy and confirmed that you want the transfer to go ahead.
You will need to consider carefully whether to transfer. A transfer may not always be the best decision for you. You should compare the value of the package of benefits you have with your current provider with what you would get in the LGPS. You should consider:
- the estimated amount of extra pension the transfer payment would buy in the LGPS
- when that pension is payable from – your Normal Pension Age
- the other benefits offered by the LGPS – such as early retirement before your Normal Pension Age, ill health benefits and survivor benefits.
You have a year from joining the LGPS to opt to transfer your previous pension unless your employer and pension fund allow you longer. This is a discretion. You can ask your employer and pension fund what their policy is on late transfers.
If you decide to proceed with the transfer, the extra pension will be added to your pension account in the Scheme year that your pension fund receives the transfer payment.
Transferring your pension rights is not always an easy decision to make. You may wish to get help from an independent financial adviser.