Joining

The Scheme is the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Scotland. LGPS Scotland is administered locally by 11 administering authorities. 

If you are able to join it is a valuable part of your pay and reward package. 

Some of the reasons you might want to join the Scheme: 

Secure benefits 

  • The Scheme provides you with a guaranteed future income. Unlike some schemes your pension is not affected by share prices and stock market fluctuations. 
  • Once you take your pension it will go up in line with inflation, protecting you from rising prices. 

A low cost to you 

  • Your employer pays significant amounts of money into the Scheme. 
  • You can get tax relief on your contributions - including extra amounts you pay to top up your benefits. 
  • You can take a lump sum when you retire, which in most cases will be tax free. 
  • There are no hidden fees or charges - you simply pay a percentage of your pay. 

Benefits for you and your loved ones 

  • Protection for you in case you have to take your benefits early through ill health. 
  • Pensions for surviving dependents if you die. 
  • Life cover of three years assumed pensionable pay - from the moment you join. 
  • Who can join?
  • How do I join?
  • How do I know if I have already joined?
  • What if I am already a member of another pension scheme?

Who can join?

You can join if you:

- are under age 75, and

- work for an employer that allows you to join the Scheme.

 

Most employees who are allowed, will join the scheme automatically. If you have a contract of employment that is for less than 3 months you need to elect to join the scheme as your membership is not automatic.

How do I join?

If you are not already a member and you want to join you should speak to your employer. 

 

If you are not already a member and you subsequently meet the automatic-enrolment criteria then you will automatically join the LGPS from the pay period in which this occurs.

 

Alternatively, if you have opted-out of the LGPS in the past you may be re-enrolled back into the Scheme again in the future.

How do I know if I have already joined?

Check your payslip to see if you are paying in and if not, contact your employer to see if you can join.

What if I am already a member of another pension scheme?

You can be a member of the Scheme if you are already contributing to a personal pension or stakeholder arrangement as long as you meet the criteria.

Refunds

If you leave the scheme with less than two years' membership, you will be refunded your contributions.  If you have more than 3 months membership, you can transfer them to another pension scheme.  If you opt for a refund, only your own contributions are refundable, those paid by your employer are not. You also pay tax on these contributions. You can find more information regarding your options on our Help Hub. 

If you opt out within three months of joining the scheme, your contributions will be refunded through your payroll department. 

 

 

 

 

The 50/50 section 

 

 

As an alternative to opting out, or at times when money is tight, there is an option to stay in the Scheme but pay a reduced contribution. This option is commonly called the "50/50 option". 

 

 

Publications

  • Member Scheme Guide

  • A Guide to AVCs

  • LGPS Circular Tiered Contribution Guidance

Forms

  • Opt Out Form

  • Joining Form

My Pension Online