When there is a need to cut back on outgoings, many people naturally think that a quick way to increase their net pay is to opt out of the pension scheme, even though they know that being a member is a good thing.
However, if you decide that you want to cancel your membership of the scheme, you can opt out from the next time you receive your monthly pay. If you choose to opt out however, you will lose important benefits that you enjoy by being in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), so you should think about carefully about leaving the fund.
If you opt back into the LGPS later, please be aware you are not allowed to join your pension records together.
There are many benefits of being a member of our scheme.
An alternative to opting out
If you are thinking of opting out because of the cost you can stay in the scheme but pay less.
There's an option called 50/50 which allows you to pay half of the contribution. You only build up half the pension, and you still keep your full death in service and ill health protections.
If you have more than one job you can decide to be in 50/50 for some jobs, and maintain your full contributions for others.
50/50 is designed to be a temporary solution and your employer will restore your full contributions every 3 years.
More information, including how to apply, is available on our contribution flexibility page. The pension option form is also attached to this page.
A summary of what you'll lose by opting out
Being a member of the LGPS is one of the main benefits of your job, so you may want to take independent financial advice before making your decision about opting out. Here's what you will lose by opting out:
- guaranteed, secure pension when you retire
- life cover, and a pension for your family in the event of your death
- an ill health pension if you become too ill to work again
- immediate payment of your pension if you’re made redundant or retired by your employer at 55+
- automatic tax relief on your LGPS contributions
- the significant contribution to your LGPS pension made by your employer which they won’t maintain for a different pension arrangement
How to opt out
If you still want to opt out after considering the alternative of the 50/50 section, and the main benefits of the LGPS which you’ll lose out on, you will need to complete the ‘opt out application form’ attached to this page and return it to your employer.
Your employer is not allowed to give you a copy of the opt out form. You must print the form yourself or contact us at the pension fund for a copy.
If you decide to opt out within 3 months of joining the LGPS, your employer will refund any contributions you have paid since joining and you will be treated as not having joined the scheme.
Please note that your employer is required to bring you back into the pension scheme every 3 years if you meet the criteria for automatic enrolment.
Links to useful documents
Opt out form (41KB)
Please ensure that you have read our page about opting out and you are aware of the 50/50 section of the scheme as an alternative.
Pension option form (43KB)
This form is for eligible employees to elect to join / opt in to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), or for existing members to elect to change which section of the LGPS they are contributing to: Main or 50/50.