Why join?

If you are able to join, it is a valuable part of your pay and reward package.

Some of the reasons you might want to join the Scheme are detailed below, along with answers to some frequently asked questions.

Secure benefits 

  • The Scheme provides you with a guaranteed future income.
  • Unlike some schemes your pension is not affected by share prices and stock market fluctuations.
  • Once you take your pension it will go up in line with inflation, protecting you from rising prices. In the rare event of deflation, your pension would not decrease. It would remain at its existing level.

A low cost to you 

  • Your employer pays significant amounts of money into the Scheme.
  • You can get tax relief on your contributions - including extra amounts you pay to top up your benefits.
  • You can take a lump sum when you retire, which in most cases will be tax free.
  • There are no hidden fees or charges - you simply pay a percentage of your pay.

Benefits for you and your loved ones

  • Protection for you in case you have to take your benefits early through ill health.
  • Pensions for surviving dependents if you die.
  • Life cover of three years actual pay - from the moment you join.

Frequently asked questions

Who can join?

You can join if you:
  • are under age 75, and
  • work for an employer that allows you to join the Scheme.

Most employees who are allowed, will join the scheme automatically. If you have a contract of employment that is for less than 3 months you need to elect to join the scheme as your membership is not automatic.

How do I join?

Not a member?

If you are not already a member and you want to join, contact your employer using the opt-in form in the resources section.

If you are not already a member and you subsequently meet the automatic-enrolment criteria then you will automatically join the LGPS from the pay period in which this occurs.

Alternatively, if you have opted-out of the LGPS in the past you may be re-enrolled back into the Scheme again in the future.

How do I know if I have already joined?

Check your payslip to see if you are paying in and if not, contact your employer to see if you can join.

What if I am already a member of another pension scheme?

You can also be a member of the Scheme if you are already contributing to a personal pension or stakeholder arrangement.

Can I get a refund of my contributions if I leave the Scheme?

An automatic refund is paid if you opt out within 3 months. 

You could be eligible for a refund if you have less than 2 years membership, no other LGPS membership and have not transferred in benefits from another scheme.

Only your own contributions are refundable, those paid by your employer are not. There will be deductions to account for tax and National Insurance where applicable.

For further information, please visit our 'understanding pensions' page.