Opting in / out and auto enrolment
To encourage more people to save for their retirement, UK legislation requires all employers to enrol their workers into a pension at work if they are not already in one. The aim is to help more people have another income, on top of the State Pension, when they retire.
This is called auto enrolment and it is your employer's responsibility.
The date when your employer has to enrol workers depends on the size of your organisation. Your employer will give you the exact date nearer the time.
The LGPS is a qualifying pension scheme for auto enrolment purposes. This means it meets the Government's standards.
If you are a new employee, your employer offers LGPS membership and you qualify then, you will be automatically enrolled into the LGPS from day one. This is known as Contractual Enrolment.
You can opt out of LGPS if you want to. However, if you stay in you will have your own pension which you get when you retire.
Please note, you must first be enrolled into the LGPS before you can opt out. This is a legal requirement. Also your employer must not encourage you to opt out.
If you decide to opt out of membership of the LGPS you will need to complete our Opt out form and return it to your employer.
Please note, if you opt out of the LGPS after meeting the 2 year vesting period you will be entitled to deferred benefits within the Scheme.
You will generally have the same options as anyone leaving their job before retirement, however, you will only be able to access your deferred benefits from age 55 as long as you have left this job.
If you decide to opt back into the Scheme you will not be permitted to join the two periods of membership together and your benefits will remain separate. This will have an impact on the benefits you are able to access should you leave work on redundancy or ill health grounds.
Whatever your reasons for considering opting out of the LGPS, we ask that you give this matter careful consideration before making a final decision. You may wish to take financial advice on this matter. Please read the notes and declaration before signing the form.
If you have previously opted out of the LGPS, then decide you want to opt back in, you can do so as long as you are eligible to join. If you wish to make an election to join, you will need to complete our Opt in / re-join form and return it to your employer.
To find out more about what enrolment into a workplace pension means for you, and the benefits of staying enrolled,visit GOV.UK: Workplace pension
If your employer offers LGPS membership and you qualify but have opted out, depending on your age and earnings, you will be automatically enrolled back into the LGPS.
Automatic re-enrolment will take place every three years after your employer's initial auto enrolment date.
If you have previously opted out, you will automatically be brought back into the LGPS on the re-enrolment date. You may opt out again if you wish to do so. However, if you stay in you will have your own pension which you get when you retire.
You can also re-join the 50/50 scheme as an alternative. For more information on the 50/50 scheme, see paying less.
Whichever enrolment category you fall into your employer will write to you with all of the information you need. If you want to know more about the benefits of the LGPS please view our scheme booklets.