If you were a deferred member and you re-join the LGPS (NI) on or after 1 October 2023 you can choose to combine your two periods of membership within 12 months of re-joining. Only your employer can choose to extend the 12-month period, NILGOSC cannot do this.
There is a lot to consider when you are thinking about combining your benefits and the Re-joining the Scheme Guide sets out these considerations in Section 3. As a result of the recent rule changes, you will also need to consider what happens if you have underpin protection on your deferred benefits. The main considerations if your deferred benefits are protected by the underpin are:
- If you keep your benefits separate, your deferred benefits will retain their underpin protection, but your new pension record will not have underpin protections.
- If you have a disqualifying break and combine your pension records, you will lose underpin protection.
- If you do not have a disqualifying break and combine your benefits, you will keep your underpin protection.