About the LGPS
How do I become a member?
Most individuals who join the scheme are automatically put into the LGPS - this is known as auto enrolment. Those automatically put in are those whose:
- Employers have reached their auto-enrolment date, and
- have a contract of employment of 3 months or more, and
- who earn at least £10,000 per year, and
- are under age 75.
Members who are not automatically enrolled can still choose to join the scheme by completing an Opting In form.
You can find out more about auto enrolment here.
How much will I pay?
How much you pay is based on how much you earn. When you join the scheme and every April afterwards your employer will review your pay to ensure you are paying the correct contribution rate. If your rate changes your employer will notify you. You can use our Pension Contribution Calculator to find out what your contribution rate is.
You also have options to increase your contributions or reduce them. For more information see our Contributions page.
What does my employer pay?
Employer contributions don't increase your pension, rather they help cover the cost of the scheme including administration and pension payments. Generally employers cover 2/3rds of the costs while members pay 1/3rd. In personal or private pension schemes members would typically have to pay for all fees and contributions.
How do I know if I am a member?
If you are a current member of the NESPF you will see pension contributions being deducted from your salary on your pay slip. You will also have been notified of your membership by your employer and the Fund.
10 reasons for joining the LGPS
- Your pension is underwritten by Government, making it guaranteed by law
- Your employer pays in too, covering 2/3rds of the cost
- Tax relief as your pay is taxed after your contributions have been deducted
- Pensions available to your spouse/partner and eligible children in the event of your death
- A tax free lump sum of 3x salary will be paid if you die in service
- Options to pay more or less - boost your pension by paying more or alternatively you can reduce your contributions
- Option of a tax free lump sum when you retire
- Your pension is payable for life when you retire and will increase in line with the cost of living
- Early retirement available from age 60 or age 55 if you have your employers permission
- Ill health, flexible, redundancy & efficiency retirements available too.
What happens if I leave?
If you leave employment and have less than two years' membership, and have not transferred in other pension rights, you can receive a refund of your contributions or transfer your benefits to another pension scheme.
If you leave employment with two or more years' membership in the LGPS, or have less than two years' membership but have transferred in other pension rights, the benefits you have built up can remain in the LGPS or be transferred to another pension scheme.
If you choose to leave your benefits in the LGPS, you will become a Deferred Member and your benefits will remain in the Scheme until you transfer them or they can be paid to you.
A guide to your options on leaving the Scheme can be found in our Publications Library.
Can I opt out?
The decision to stay in or opt out of the LGPS is entirely your own, but you should consider carefully before making a decision. Members of the LGPS have the security of guaranteed benefits at retirement, as well as valuable protection for their families. In addition, your employer contributes about two-thirds of the cost of your benefits; if you contribute to a personal pension plan you will have to bear the full cost yourself. See "10 reasons for joining the LGPS" above for more details.
You can opt out of the LGPS at any time by completing and returning an Opt-Out form to your employer. The Opt-Out form is available from the Publications Library.
We recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before opting-out of the LGPS. You can re-join the LGPS at any time, provided at that time you have a contract of employment for at least three months and you are under 75.