When you leave a job in which you paid into the LGPS and start another job in which you also pay LGPS contributions, in most circumstances we will automatically join your records together, however you can decide to keep them separate.

To keep records separate, you need to let us know within 12 months of starting your new job.

If all of your LGPS membership is after 1 April 2014, there is usually no benefit to keep your pension records separate. However, there are circumstances in which keeping them separate may be better for you.

Full-time equivalent pay

If you paid into the LGPS before 1 April 2014, this part of your pension benefits is linked to your full-time equivalent pay at the time you leave. These benefits will usually be calculated using the average full-time equivalent pay (plus applicable allowances), from your last year of paying in, but it can be one of the two earlier years if the pay was higher. 

If your new job has a lower full-time equivalent pay, you may decide to keep your pension records separate. Separating them will mean your final salary linked benefits will be calculated using the pay from your earlier job.

Redundancy retirement

If your post is made redundant and you are over 55 years old, your pension is automatically paid without the reduction that is normally applied for early retirement.

If you had an earlier record which you decided to keep separate, only the benefits accrued from the start of your current job would be paid unreduced.

Ill health retirement

If your employer approves ill health retirement for you, depending on the tier awarded and your age, your pension is either paid without reduction or, with an enhancement. 

If you opted to keep your benefits separate, only the benefits accrued from the start of your current job would be paid. In order to receive your pension from your earlier separate record, you would have to apply to your former employer for payment of your deferred benefits on ill health grounds.

Voluntary retirement

If you are aged between 55 and 75, you may decide to voluntarily leave your job and take your pension. 

Your combined benefits will be payable together, but if your records are separate you have the flexibility to take your pension from your earlier record at either, the same date, a later date, or an earlier date (provided you are 55 years old at that point).

Cost of living increases

Your pension is increased each year in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). 

In times of negative inflation, benefits could be reduced. However, if you separate your benefits, your earlier pension record will be deferred and will not be reduced in times of negative inflation.

Rule of 85

Your Rule of 85 date is the day when your continuous LGPS membership in whole years, added to your age, equals 85. 

In most circumstances, your Rule of 85 date will stay the same when we combine your records. However, if there is a gap between the records, your Rule of 85 may move to a later date, because the gap between the records will not count towards your continuous membership.

If you have separate records, the Rule of 85 will only apply to the pension that has membership before 1 April 2008.