Combining two LGPS pensions
Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough getting your head around one pension, let alone two. So, if you’ve recently started a new LGPS membership and want to combine it with a previous one, we’ll always try and help – it just depends on whether the two pensions are compatible and share the same rules.
Sometimes we’ll combine your two schemes automatically. For example, if your previous pension was less than two years, and therefore couldn’t be deferred. Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to combine benefits with deferred pension funds, it gets a little more complicated as there are certain things we need to consider:
- Start and end dates – the LGPS rules changed on 1 April 2014, so linking a preceding membership and transferring into a more recent scheme may reflect these changes.
- Any gap in membership – unless the membership is still active, we can only combine pensions that are from the same fund.
- Normal Pension Age (NPA) – if the NPAs of the two schemes don’t match, it can affect the value of your pension. So we need to align the two NPA dates to avoid a possible reduction in benefits.
- Final salary benefits – If your previous pension benefits are based on your final salary, this would need to continue on any new, combined scheme.
Due to the complexity of the process, it can take a little while to organise a combined benefits scheme. Although, if it helps, your employer has the discretion to extend your membership for up to 12 months, to investigate a transfer of previous pension funds.
How to apply
Three simple steps
If you decide you want to combine your two LGPS pensions, you will usually need to apply in writing. But you’ll be pleased to hear that the process is really quite simple.
How to apply
Put it in writing
Your employer will let us know that you have re-joined the LGPS or moved over from another employer. If you want us to combine your two pension schemes, all you need to do is put your request in writing.
You can find the correct address to write to or use our online contact form here.
We’ll let you know
We will review your previous membership period and confirm ONE of the following:
- Your LGPS membership has automatically been combined
- We can combine your LGPS memberships
- We can’t combine your LGPS memberships
If we confirm option 2, we will point you towards some fact sheets that explain your decision in more detail. We will also give you some time to mull over your decision, but unless we hear back from you in writing by the date on our letter, we will go ahead and merge the two schemes.
We’ll put the wheels in motion
After receiving your written confirmation, we will either combine your two LGPS pensions or leave them as two separate memberships. If we don’t hear from you within the timescales outlined in step 2, we will go ahead with the action outlined in our previous letter and send you written confirmation.