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 and
  • do not satisfy the vesting period (see below)

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 benefits in the LGPS in England and Wales and
  • do not satisfy the vesting period (see below) 

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 or
  • you satisfy the vesting period.

    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.
  • The vesting period

    If you leave your job before you want to claim your benefits you will be awarded a deferred pension provided you satisfy the vesting period.

    You satisfy the vesting period if you:

    • have been a member of the LGPS in England or Wales for two years or
    • have transferred a pension into the LGPS from another occupational scheme or from a European pensions institution and the length of service in that scheme plus your LGPS membership is more than two years or
    • have transferred pension benefits into the LGPS from a pension scheme which does not allow a refund of contributions or
    • have transferred pension benefits from the LGPS to a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme
    • a deferred pension or are in receipt of a pension from the LGPS, other than a survivor’s pension or a pension credit member’s pension
    • paid National Insurance contributions as a member of the LGPS and you stop paying into the LGPS in the tax year you reach state pension age or
    • stop paying into the LGPS at age 75 or
    • die in service.

    If you have not met the vesting period, you can choose:

    • to take a refund of the pension contributions you have paid or
    • to transfer the value of your LGPS pension to another pension arrangement (if the regulations allow).