An employee who is either contractually or automatically enrolled into the LGPS (NI) can only opt out after they have been brought into the Scheme i.e. they cannot complete an LGS2 – Opt-out form before they have been brought into the Scheme. This does not mean that they have to have paid contributions before they can opt out – it means that they cannot sign and date the opt-out form until after they have been enrolled.
Employers cannot provide opt out forms to members, an opt-out form can only legally be obtained from NILGOSC.
A person with more than one job can opt out in one, some or all of them.
The opt-out form must be sent to the employer to action on payroll and the employer must notify NILGOSC that the employee has opted out using the Opt Out template spreadsheet (315KB, PDF). For employers using i-Connect, all opt outs should be submitted through the i-Connect portal rather than by the opt out template spreadsheet.
If a member opts out within the first three months of being enrolled they are treated as never having been in the LGPS (NI) in that employment. The employer must refund the employee contributions to the employee within one month of receipt of the opt-out form (or, if the payroll has already been run, by the end of the next pay period), and must reduce the next payover to NILGOSC by the amount of refunded employee and employer contributions already paid to NILGOSC in respect of that employee.
If a member opts out after three months and with less than two years’ membership they will still be entitled to a refund, however this will be paid by NILGOSC. There is no refund of employer’s contributions.
If the member opts out with more than two years’ membership they will have an entitlement to deferred pension benefits that will be payable from their normal pension age.