Opt Out Process
Membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is automatic for the majority of employees but it is not compulsory. You can choose to opt out of the LGPS at any time.
If you wish to leave the scheme whilst continuing with your employment you can opt-out by completing our online form. Your benefit entitlement will be assessed at the date you leave the scheme and will depend upon the length of your membership.
Alternatively you can download and print the PDF version which should be completed and forwarded to Staffordshire Pension Fund (see our address at the bottom of the screen):
Pension Opt Out Form (85 KB)
Please note if you are submitting a paper opt-out form rather than using the on-line version, any delay in your completed form arriving with the Pension Team may result in your request missing the payroll cut-off date for that particular month and additional contributions being taken from your salary. Your Payroll Provider will be unable to process your request until the following month.
If you are considering opting out because you feel that the contributions are too expensive, you may wish to consider joining the 50/50 Section of the scheme.
Refund of Contributions
If you opt out with less than 3 months membership and have no other LGPS benefits you will receive a refund of contributions through your employer's payroll. You will forgo all the benefits of being an LGPS member.
If you opt out with more than 3 months, but less than 2 years membership, have not transferred in service from a scheme which does not allow a refund and have no other LGPS benefits you are entitled receive a refund of contributions less deductions of tax and, if applicable, National Insurance contributions from Staffordshire Pension Fund. You will forgo all the benefits of being an LGPS member. The refund will not be paid until you have completed further sets of claim forms.
If you opt out with 2 years membership or more or have transferred in service from a scheme which does not allow a refund. You will be awarded deferred pension benefits.
- Your benefits will be based on your pay at opting-out, not your pay when you eventually leave/retire. As you will not be able to combine any future benefits with the Deferred Benefit awarded on opting out
- Death grant will be 5 times annual pension (instead of 3 times pay for scheme members)
- Dependents pensions will be based on accrued pension only (no enhancement to your 65th birthday)
- You will lose the future employer contributions (your employer is not allowed to contribute to another scheme instead of the LGPS)
- If you are made redundant/retired on efficiency of the service your benefits will not be payable until you are age 55, and reductions for early payment may apply
- If you rejoin the Scheme it will not be possible to pay back contributions for any period of opting out. You will be able to buy additional pension but this is more expensive. You will also not be able to combine any future benefits with the deferred benefit awarded on opting out
Before you decide to opt-out of the scheme it may be a good idea to check with your employer's payroll on how your net pay will change. Remember that if you are a tax payer, being a member of the pension scheme means you pay less tax. By opting-out your net pay is unlikely to increase by the full amount of the pension contribution normally shown on your payslip.