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Can I choose to join the LGPS?

You can choose to join the LGPS at any time whether you are an eligible jobholder or not. To be able to join the LGPS you need to be under age 75 and work for an employer that offers membership of the scheme.

If you are employed by a designated body, such as a town or parish council, or by a non-local government organisation which participates in the LGPS (an admission body), you can only join if your employer nominates you for membership.

If you start a job and are eligible for membership of the LGPS, you will be automatically enrolled into the scheme. In a situation where your contract of employment is less than 3 months, you can choose to join the LGPS by completing our opting in form and returning it to your payroll provider.

If you are not brought into the scheme automatically, or you are already employed and wish to opt into the scheme at a later date, you can do so by completing our opting in form.

Automatic enrolment

Automatic enrolment is a government initiative created to help more people save for later life through a work pension scheme.

In the first instance, employees are put into three different categories depending on their salary and age. These are:

  • eligible jobholders
  • non-eligible jobholders
  • entitled workers

You will only be automatically enrolled if you are an eligible jobholder. To find out which category you’ve been put into, visit the LGPS website.

When will I be automatically enrolled?

If you are a new employee and eligible to join the LGPS, you will be entered into the scheme from your start date, except if you are over 75 or have a contract of employment for less than three months.

Automatic enrolment exclusions

Your employer may choose not to automatically enrol you if:

  • you opt out of the LGPS within 12 months of the date you are due to be automatically enrolled
  • you have given notice of your resignation or retirement
  • you been given notice of dismissal
  • your employer believes that you hold a lifetime allowance protection, such as Primary, Enhanced or Fixed Protection
  • you have received a winding up lump sum in the previous 12 months

How do I leave the LGPS?

The LGPS is, and continues to be, one of the best occupational pension schemes in the UK.

Whatever your reasons for considering opting out of the scheme, we ask that you give this matter careful consideration before making a final decision.

You may wish to take financial advice before deciding to opt out. If you are opting out of the LGPS due to advice you have received, you should ask for this advice in writing. Your employer cannot ask you or force you to opt out.

If you are asked or forced to opt out you can tell The Pensions Regulator. Equally, no one can force you to remain a member of the scheme but, if you elect not to be a member, you should understand the implications both for
you and your dependents.

As an alternative to opting out of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), there is an option to pay half the pension contributions – this is called the 50/50 section.

If you choose the 50/50 section, you will pay half of the normal full pension contributions. Pension accrual rate will be 1/98th instead of 1/49th, but ill health, death and survivors’ benefits remain the same.

If you decide you still want to opt out of the LGPS then you will need to complete the opt out form.

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