Re-joining the Local Government Pension Scheme
If you re-join the LGPS and you have previous pension benefits in the scheme, due to a previous period of membership, then your deferred benefit(s) can normally be joined with your new active pension account.
In most cases your deferred benefit will automatically be joined up with your active pension account, unless you elect to keep it separate within the first 12 months of re-joining the LGPS (unless your employer allows you longer, this is a discretion).
If you were a member before 1 April 2014
The rules can be different and you may have to make an election to join up your deferred benefit with your active pension account. If this applies to you such an election must be made within the first 12 months of re-joining the LGPS, unless your employer allows you longer.
You should inform your pension fund if you hold previous pension benefits when you join the LGPS. They will then write to you setting out the options available to you and confirm whether or not you need to make an election to combine your pension benefits.
If you left without building rights
If you were previously a member of the LGPS but left without building up rights to a deferred pension (normally where you have less than two years membership) and you haven't yet taken a refund of contributions, then this deferred refund must be joined with your new active pension account in the scheme.
Where you have more than one employment and therefore more than one pension account in the LGPS you can elect which account to combine your previous LGPS pension rights with.
If you opted out on or after 11 April 2015
If you opted out on or after 11 April 2015 and you have a deferred benefit in the LGPS you will not be allowed to combine this with your new active pension if you re-join the scheme. Instead, you will have two separate sets of pension benefits in the scheme.
It may not always be in your interest to join up a deferred benefit with your active pension account. You should inform your pension fund when you join the LGPS if you hold any previous pension benefits.
Staffordshire Pension Fund will write to you setting out the options available to you and provide information about the things you should think about when considering whether to combine your pension benefits.