Transferring out to a personal, stakeholder or non LGPS occupational scheme
If you leave the scheme before your Normal Pension Age (NPA) and you are entitled to deferred benefits you may transfer the cash equivalent of your pension benefits into a new employer's scheme, if they are willing and able to accept it, into a personal or stakeholder pension scheme, or into a 'buy-out' insurance policy.
The method of valuing the cash equivalent of your pension rights complies with the requirements of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 and any value quoted is guaranteed for three months. You should always seek independent financial advice before deciding to transfer your benefits out of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
Transferring to an Overseas Pension Scheme
You can transfer your LGPS pension to an overseas pension scheme providing that it meets certain conditions set by HM Revenue and Customs. The receiving overseas pension scheme must appear on the Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) notification list which is authorised by HMRC and is regularly updated.
Transferring out to another Local Authority
If you return to employment with an employer participating in the LGPS, the pension rights that you have built up in your earlier employment will be added to your new period of membership in the Scheme. However, you can elect, within twelve months of re-joining the scheme (or such longer period as your employer may allow) to keep your former benefits separate.
You cannot transfer your benefits (other than AVCs) if you leave less than one year before your Normal Pension Age (NPA). An option to transfer must be made at least 12 months before your NPA. Your NPA is in line with your State Pension Age (with a minimum age of 65).
Transferring your pension - video
If you are considering transferring your pension benefits you may be interested in the 'Transferring your pension' video which a brief overview of this option and points you may wish to consider.
Pension Liberation Fraud
The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has a responsibility to bring to your attention information published by The Pensions Regulator. Pension Liberation also known as 'pension loans' and 'pension scams' is a transfer of a scheme member’s pension savings to an arrangement that will allow them to access their funds before the age of 55. The practice can be illegal where members are misled about key consequences of entering into one of these arrangements. This could be because scheme members are not informed of the tax consequences, fees involved or how a proportion of pension savings are invested. Pension liberation can result in tax charges and penalties of more than half the value of a member’s pension savings, and those being targeted are usually not being told about these potential tax implications. Further information regarding Pension Liberation Fraud can be found by visiting The Pensions Regulator website
The Pensions Regulator recently launched an awareness campaign surrounding pension scams - Scam Smart. To find out more about the campaign and some top tips to protect yourself against pension scams please visit our Scam Smart section of our website.
If a full transfer payment is made, you will not be entitled to any further benefits from the LGPS for yourself, your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner or eligible children.