Updated: November 14, 2019

Transfer Local Government Pension

Are Local Government Pensions transferrable? Yes they are! Find out how to do it in our guide.

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Tony Stevens

Author: Tony Stevens - Finance Expert

Updated: November 14, 2019

Transferring a Local Government Pension Scheme (or “LGPS pension”) can be a relatively complex process that usually requires professional assistance. Fortunately, the pension advisors we work with are experts in this area and can give you the right advice.

If you have an LGPS pension and are thinking about moving your benefits to a new provider or scheme, this article should give you an overview of the process as well as some of the main pros and cons of transferring.

Can I transfer my Local Government Pension?

Yes, it’s usually possible to transfer your LGPS pension benefits into another scheme.

The process will depend on the type of pension you’re transferring into, and you may need to consult an independent pensions advisor to help you enact the transfer and ensure that it’s in your best interests. If you’d like to explore your options make an enquiry to speak to an independent pensions expert.

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How do I work out transfer value of my Local Government Pension?

LGPS pensions are defined benefit schemes, which guarantee an income for life based on your number of years in service and ‘career average’ or final salary. To express this future income as a cash equivalent is a complicated task involving multiple factors, and arriving at the right figure requires the skills and experience of a professional.

You will therefore need to work with an independent pensions expert, who can calculate the transfer value of your LGPS pension and provide you with a CETV (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value) certificate, which you’ll need to progress any subsequent transfer.

Where can I transfer my Local Government pension to?

You can transfer your LGPS rights/benefits into various types of pension scheme, including:

Can I transfer my local government pension to the NHS pension scheme?

Yes, you should be able to transfer a LGPS pension into the NHS pension scheme. You will need to apply to make the transfer when you enrol with the NHS pension, which can be done via the online form, and your LGPS benefits will be added to your NHS pension.

Please note, unlike the LGPS pension the NHS scheme does not allow you to transfer benefits out, so once you transfer your LGPS benefits to the NHS scheme, you will not have the option of doing this again.

Should I transfer my local government pension?

This really depends on what matters to you when it comes to your retirement planning and savings goals, as well as how long you’ve been in your current scheme.

It will also depend on the type of pension you’re thinking of switching to, and a careful analysis of the pros and cons of transferring versus sticking with your LGPS pension.

This is particularly important if you’re considering a transfer to a defined contribution scheme, since this means you’d lose some benefits that are unique to defined benefit schemes like the LGPS pension.

Benefits you’d be giving up usually include:

  • A guaranteed income for life
  • Retirement income equivalent to what you earned during your career
  • A pension that is not subject to fluctuations of the stock market

However, you may find that you are offered very high transfer values and cash as a tax free lump sum in return for your LGPS pension, which may be more attractive and useful depending on your circumstances.

You are also likely to be offered more flexible features by your new provider, which can make it easier to access your money as and when you need it.

The best way to ensure you are making an informed decision that’s right for your circumstances is to seek out an independent pensions advisor with strong experience of managing local government pension transfer: please make an enquiry if you’d like to be put in touch with one of the experts we work with for a free initial consultation with no obligations.

How do I transfer my LGPS pension?

If you decide to go ahead and transfer a LGPS pension into another scheme, the first step is to contact the new provider, who will be able to offer information on the next steps.

As part of this process you’ll need to provide them with a CETV (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value) certificate, which will be used to make the transfer. These are valid for 3 months from the date the calculation is made.

You are legally required to take advice from an Independent Financial Advisor if:

  • You are transferring into a defined contribution scheme and/or
  • Your pension benefits are valued at £30,000 or higher

Once you have decided to proceed with the transfer you and the new provider will need to complete a transfer discharge form to complete the process.

Can I transfer into an LGPS pension?

If you’re planning to enrol on a local government scheme, you might be thinking of transferring another pension into the LGPS scheme. This can be a helpful way of combining your pension pots and reducing admin and fees from running multiple accounts.

his is usually possible from most types of UK pension scheme and sometimes from overseas schemes too. The pensions experts we work with can advise you on your options for transferring another pension into LGPS.

Speak to an expert about local government pension scheme transfer

If you’re thinking about transferring out of or into a Local Government Pension Scheme and would like to talk through your options with an expert, the pensions advisors we work with are ideally placed to help you through every stage of the process.

For an initial consultation at no cost to you, give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry, and we’ll be in touch soon to discuss your requirements.

Ask a quick question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in pensions. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Tony Stevens

Tony Stevens

Finance Expert

About the author

Tony has worked in a vastly diverse array of areas in the pensions industry for over 20 years. Tony regularly writes for trade press, usually on topical and pensions pieces as well as acting as a judge at prestigious national events.

Tony is also a highly qualified Independent Financial Adviser in his own right. His mantra has always been “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”, and believes that the biggest impact that an adviser can have on a client’s life journey is to take them on a journey from generally having little or no real idea of what their retirement will look like, to giving them the understanding of what their retirement looks like now, then helping them navigate a path to what they want their retirement to be.

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