Freedom and Choice

The Government introduced greater flexibility ('Freedom and Choice') in the way individuals aged 55 and over can access any Defined Contribution (DC) pension savings they may have. These reforms took effect from 6 April 2015

It's important that as a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) you understand that you are a member of a public sector Defined Benefit (DB) scheme and therefore the flexibilities being introduced under 'Freedom and Choice' do not impact on how you can take your Defined Benefits from the LGPS. There are, however, some indirect changes which do impact upon any members of the LGPS who are considering transferring the value of their accrued LGPS Defined Benefit pension rights from the LGPS to a DC arrangement offering 'flexible benefits'.

The questions and answers below aim to help you understand these changes:

1. Are there any rules around transfers from the LGPS to a defined contribution scheme?
2. Are there any exemptions to the rule on advice?
3. How will you know what the total value of your LGPS benefits is?
4. What happens to your LGPS benefits if you do transfer to a defined contribution scheme?
5. Who do you need to get authorised independent advice from?
7. How much will this advice cost and who pays for it?
8. Do you have to follow the advice that you receive from the authorised independent adviser or appointed representative?
9. If you follow the advice to transfer what protection do you have?
10. How will your LGPS pension fund know you have taken appropriate independent advice?
11. Are there any other new rules which could impact on the transfer value of your accrued LGPS pension benefits?