Leaving the LGPS before Normal Pension Age

Leaving your job before normal pension age

If you leave your job before normal pension age, your employer will notify Pension Services.

What happens to your pension depends on how much membership you have. We will write to you with exact details, but the summary below may help you.

Leaving your job with under three months membership

If you leave your job with less than three months' membership, including any transferred from another pension scheme or any deferred LGPS pension accounts:

Either:

  • Pension Services will refund your contributions, less a deduction for tax or,
  • if you are paying into the LGPS in another employment, the pension from the job you've left will be added to your ongoing pension account.
Leaving your job with at least three months but less than two years membership

If:

  • you leave your job with more than three months' membership, but with less than two years' membership, and
  • have not transferred pension benefits into your LGPS pension account, and
  • have no other LGPS pension in the LGPS in England and Wales

You may:

  • ask Pension Services for a refund of your contributions, less a deduction for tax or,
  • transfer your pension to another pension scheme or,
  • leave your contributions frozen as a 'preserved refund' for up to five years. If you re-join the LGPS and have a preserved refund, the account that you've stopped paying into will automatically be joined with your ongoing account.

Your contributions will be refunded if you have not done anything with them after five years.

If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014, you can choose to have a deferred LGPS pension, which would be due at your normal pension age. See: Deferred pension to find out more.

Leaving your job with two or more years membership

You cannot have a refund of contributions if you leave your job with two or more years' membership, including any transferred from other pension schemes. 

Your pension will become deferred (frozen) and will stay in the LGPS until it is brought into payment or you transfer to another pension scheme. See, Deferred Pension to find out more. 

You qualify for a deferred pension if:

  • you have two or more years' membership, including any transferred from other pension schemes or,
  • you joined the LGPS between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2014 and paid in for at least three months.