If you have other pension benefits from another job or through a personal pension plan, you can still join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
Other LGPS membership
If you are already paying into the LGPS and you get another job where you are eligible for membership of the scheme, you can be a member in all positions. You will have a separate pension account for each job and receive a separate pension at retirement.
Dumfries and Galloway Council Pension Fund
If you already have benefits with us , you can choose to keep your existing and new benefits separate or join them together. When you join we will write to you asking what you would like to do.You have 12 months from joining to make a decision. You can request to do this through an Authority form:
Another Local Government Pension Scheme Fund
If you already have benefits with another Local Government you can choose to either move them to Dumfries and Galloway Council Pension Fund or keep them separate. You have 12 months from joining to make a decision. You can request to do this through an Authority form:
Other transfers in to the LGPS
You may be able to transfer in pension benefits from another provider, so all your benefits are in one place. However only certain pensions can be transferred in. The Fund can only accept pension benefits from other LGPS providers and from providers which are part of the Public-Sector Transfer Club.
You have 12 months from joining the scheme to initiate the transfer your other pension benefits.
Transfers out of the LGPS
You can leave the LGPS and have your deferred benefits transferred to another pension scheme however you should carefully consider pension liberation fraud first.
Even if you are contacted by a legitimate pensions company about taking more of your benefits as a lump sum, don't give up your benefits lightly.
- you can take tax-free cash from the LGPS.
- you would be giving up an index-linked pension for life.
- and LGPS pensions continue to spouses / qualifying partners on your death.
Freedom and Choice
Reforms offering greater flexibility, 'Freedom and Choice', in the way that individuals aged 55 and over can access their defined contribution (DC) pensions became effective on 6 April 2015.
As the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a public sector defined benefit (DB) scheme, 'Freedom and Choice' does not apply to it. However, before retiring, members do have the right to transfer their pension rights out of the LGPS to a DC arrangement offering 'flexible benefits'.
As a transfer out of the LGPS is a major financial decision requiring careful consideration and can only be done after taking advice, we suggest that any members contemplating this course of action first read our Freedom Of choice advice for LGPS Members:
If you want to transfer and the cash equivalent value of all your defined benefits is more than £30,000 then you are legally required to obtain appropriate independent financial advice from either an authorised independent advisor or an appointed representative. You must prove this advice has been sought before a transfer process can begin by completing the Advice Confirmation form.
If you have less than £30,000 you do not need to obtain advice however it is strongly recommended. You will need to contact the Pensions Section by emailing Pensions@dumgal.gov.uk to request a cash equivalent value of your pension.
Before transferring you should consider that the LGPS is one of the best way to plan for retirement and has a range of benefits not available in other schemes. Your benefits in the LGPS are guaranteed by law so no matter how investments perform your benefits are secure. When you retire you have a pension payable for life which increases with the cost of living. The LGPS is also more flexible than you think; you can access your pension from age 55 and when you retire take up to 25% of your pension as a tax free lump sum.
If you decide to transfer your deferred benefits please contact the Pensions Section for the appropriate discharge paperwork. You will need to tell us the name and type of scheme you wish to transfer to for us to be able to send you the correct discharge form
If you want to transfer your benefits to an overseas scheme, you must emigrate permanently. More information about this and the 25% tax levied on transfers to QROPS is available from HMRC.
In all transfer cases the member is required to complete and return a Public Sector Membership History form in addition to the appropriate discharge paperwork.
You can contact the Pension Team for further guidance:
Call: 01387 273855