Leaving the LGPS and paying extra
In this section you can find out what happens to any extra contributions you have paid if you leave the LGPS with deferred benefits. Different rules apply depending on what type of extra contributions you have paid.
Additional Pension Contributions or Additional Regular Contributions
If you have bought extra LGPS pension by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) or Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs), you will be credited with the extra pension you have paid for when you leave. The extra pension will increase the value of your deferred benefits.
If you re-join the LGPS and combine your deferred benefits with your new pension account, the extra pension will also transfer. You will not be able to continue with an ARC or APC contract in your new job. You will be able to start a new APC contract if you wish to.
If you transfer your LGPS pension to another pension arrangement, the extra pension will increase the transfer value your pension fund pays to the new scheme.
If you are buying extra years in the LGPS, you will be credited with the extra membership you have paid for when you leave. The extra membership will increase the value of your deferred benefits. It will also increase any transfer value paid to a different pension scheme.
If you re-join the LGPS in Scotland, you can carry on buying added years as long as:
- you re-join the LGPS within a year of leaving
- you contact your new pension fund about this within three months of re-joining, and
- you pay extra contributions to cover any gap between leaving and re-joining the LGPS within three months of re-joining.
Contact your pension fund within three months of re-joining the LGPS if you want to carry on buying added years.
Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)
You may have paid AVCs arranged through the LGPS. These are known as in-house AVCs. Your AVC fund will continue to be invested until it is paid out. You cannot pay in-house AVCs after leaving. This means that any life cover you have paid for through AVCs will stop.
- Transfer your AVC to another pension arrangement. If you have more than one LGPS in-house AVC, you must transfer them all at the same time. You can transfer your AVC and leave your deferred pension account in the LGPS.
- Take your AVC at the same time as you take your deferred LGPS pension. Find out how you can use your AVC when you retire on the Taking your pension and paying extra page.
- Withdraw taxable lump sums from your AVCs. You may be able to do this from age 55 (or earlier on ill health). See Withdrawing AVCs as taxable lump sums page.
- If you re-join the LGPS in Scotland, transfer your AVC to an AVC arrangement linked to your new active pension account. In some cases, you must do so.
Cohabiting partner’s pension
You may have elected to pay additional contributions to buy extra cohabiting partner’s survivor pension. Your cohabiting partner’s survivor pension is usually based on your membership after 5 April 1988. If you paid extra contributions, the survivor pension will be based on your membership before that date as well. If you leave with deferred benefits, the part of your membership before 6 April 1988 that you have paid extra for will be included when your pension fund works out the survivor pension your cohabiting partner is entitled to.