Deferred pensions This means the pension is kept ‘on hold’ in the Leicestershire scheme. If you’ve been part of the scheme for at least 2 years or have transferred in any pension from another scheme you can apply for deferred benefits. You will be sent a statement of the value of your pension benefits and the date you can expect to receive them. You’ll then receive a statement ever year to tell you by how much your benefits have increased. The Pension is inflation proof and linked to cost of living increases. You must tell the Pension Section if you change your address. You will be contacted at retirement age and offered the benefits. Returning to Local Government employment If you have deferred benefits from a previous Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) employment, and any of these rights relate to membership that you built up in the scheme before 31 March 2014, then you will be provided with information to help you decide whether to move those benefits across to the Leicestershire fund, or to keep them where they are. There are a number of factors that you will need to consider, and you will be provided with full details to enable you to make this decision. If you have deferred benefits from a previous LGPS employment and all of those benefits relate to a period of employment that took place after 1 April 2014, then those benefits will automatically be joined together with your Leicestershire fund pension. This is because all post 2014 rights are equal across the different funds, and so the Regulations state that a transfer should automatically take place. Your pension rights are exactly the same whichever fund they are held in, and there is no advantage or disadvantage to your pension being moved. Transferring out If you leave before you are entitled to receive payment of your pension straight away, you may be able to transfer your pension rights into another scheme. In order to arrange the transfer you will need to let your new pension scheme know that you have pension rights with the Leicestershire County Council pension fund. It’s likely that your new scheme will have their own forms for you to complete, to start the process. It is not compulsory to transfer your benefits to any new scheme as it may not always be in your best interests to do so. If you are unsure whether to go ahead with a transfer, you should seek independent financial advice. There is more detailed information on our main web page about Deferred pension status. Refund of contributions If you opt out of the pension scheme within the first 3 months, your contributions will be refunded by your payroll. If your period of contributory membership goes beyond 3 months but is less than 2 years then, unless you have brought in a transfer from elsewhere, you are entitled to a refund, this will be paid to you by the Pension Section as soon as they have received the details from your employer. This payment will be reduced by tax at 20% of the balance. A claim for a refund can only be made one month and a day after you have left the Pension Scheme. Should you opt out of the LGPS with between 3 months and 2 years membership, then the refund will be paid to you direct from the Pension Section. Once you have been a member for more than 2 years, a refund is no longer possible. Members will not be able to receive a refund from Pension Section if they opt out within 12 months of their normal retirement age or beyond, have transferred in previous pension rights, or resume local government pensionable employment before any refund is paid. They will instead become entitled to a benefit and full details will be provided. It must be remembered that if you have another period of LGPS membership you may be excluded from claiming a refund. If you are entitled to a refund of contributions, you may wish to defer your decision in order to retain your membership of the LGPS. You may wish to do this if you envisage a return to Local Government or other pensionable employment, when you will be able to link up these benefits with your new pension rights. Generally, if another option is available to you it is likely to be more favourable in the long run than a refund of contributions.