The current rise in cost of living may be making you feel like you can no longer afford to pay in to the pension scheme or you may be looking to opt out to access cash from your pension to pay essential bills. This is understandable however these scenarios carry risk.
Before making any decisions on opting out of the pensions scheme due to money related worries, please consider contacting the government-backed and impartial MoneyHelper service which could help you find another way forward.
If you are planning to opt out and transfer your pension elsewhere, please read the Transferring Out section of our website, in particular, the Pensions Scams Awareness section near the bottom of the page before making this decision.
It is important that you maintain payment of your pension contributions, when you are able to do so, as stopping payments could have a serious impact on your retirement living standards later in life.
If you wish to proceed with cancelling your membership you're free to opt out from your next pay period.
If you are thinking of opting out because of the cost you can stay in the Fund but pay less.
The option called 50/50 allows you to pay half of the contribution but only build up half the pension. If you have more than one job you can make this choice in one, all or some of them.
Your survivor's benefits are unaffected.
Your employer will need you to make your choice in writing.
This is only meant to be a short term solution and you will have to again pay the full contribution rate when your employer has to re-enrol you every three years, via automatic enrolment legislation. If you are away from work without pay due to sickness you will have to pay the full rate when your pay recommences.
If you want to opt out you can do so at any time. You will need to complete the opt-out form (which can be found in the Help Hub section) and return this immediately to your employer so that they can carry out the necessary actions to remove you from the Scheme. The choices you have depend on how long you have been a member. You can find details in the 'Leaving before you retire' section. You can ask your employer to cancel your membership any time after your request. Otherwise, they will just cancel it from the start of the next pay period. Please note, however, that any opt out form that has been completed before you commence your employment cannot be accepted and you will have to make a further election on or after the date your employment commences if you do wish to opt out.
You should be aware that in certain circumstances your employer may be obliged by law to re-enrol you into the LGPS at a later date, even though you have previously opted not to be in the Scheme.
Important: Apart from the main retirement benefits, you will lose out on extras, such as ill health cover. You may wish to get independent financial advice and can find details on the Help Hub page.