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Auto enrolment, opting in and out of the pension scheme
In October 2012 the Government began introducing changes to pension legislation, known as "auto enrolment". This affects all employers throughout the UK and certain employees who are not currently in a qualifying pension scheme.
Using a phased approach running to 2017, employers will have to "auto enrol" certain employees who are not already in a pension scheme into a "qualifying pension scheme." These changes started to affect certain Leicestershire Pension Fund employees from February 2013.
For Leicestershire Pension Fund employees (except teachers) the "qualifying scheme" is the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This is already a very good pension scheme and therefore we have a large number of current employees already paying into the scheme, but not everyone is currently a member and there are a small group of employees who have previously not been eligible to join.
If you are already a current paying member of the LGPS you will not be affected by the auto enrolment changes.
If you are not already a current paying member of the LGPS, you will be brought into the LGPS if:
you are aged between 22 and age 74
you have earnings in excess of £10,000 (in 2016-2017) per annum.
If this is affects you, you will be written to nearer the time by your employer explaining what will happen.
If you do not wish to pay into the LGPS you can opt back out of the scheme and have a refund as long as you do this quickly. If you do opt out, every 3 years you will be auto enrolled back into the LGPS again.
If you have decided to opt out of the LGPS, you will need to complete an opt out form and return it to your employer for them to forward to their payroll office.
Pension Opt Out Form
Opting out of the LGPS – Impact on option to combine if you re-join in the future
If you opt out of the LGPS in an employment on or after 11 April 2015 with an entitlement to a deferred benefit (and do not have a concurrent employment in which you are still a member of the scheme) you will not have the right if you subsequently re-join the scheme, to aggregate (combine) those deferred benefits with any future period of membership in the LGPS.
If you are not already a member of the LGPS and you wish to join, you do not have to wait until the auto enrolment rules come into effect to become a member
If you want to find out more about the benefits of the LGPS, please telephone the Leicestershire County Council Pension Team on 0116 305 4000 or 0116 305 8374 for further information.
How do I join the Pension Scheme?
If you want to start paying pension contributions and become a scheme member, you must contact your employer in writing by sending a letter, which has to be signed by you. Or, if sending it electronically, your e-mail has to contain the phrase “I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join the Local Government Pension Scheme”.
You will then be sent further information on the scheme by your employer, including a Pension Membership form to complete, and will be enrolled into the LGPS from the next available pay date. The form that they give you should, once completed, be returned to the Pension Section.