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Councillors leaving the Scheme before retirement

Can I opt out of the Scheme and re-join the Scheme at a later date?

You can leave the Scheme at any time by giving your council notice in writing. If you opt out, you can opt back into the Scheme provided at that time you are still an elected councillor and you are under 75. You may wish to obtain independent financial advice before you make a decision to opt out of the Scheme.

You cannot join your benefits together if you have previously opted out.

Can I have a refund of contributions?

If you leave with less than two years’ total membership you may take a refund of your contributions, less any deductions for tax.

Deferred benefits

If you leave before your normal pension age and your total membership is two years or more, you will be entitled to deferred benefits within the Scheme. Your deferred benefits will be calculated using the pension you have built up to the date that you left the Scheme.

Deferred benefits are a pension which is calculated at the date of leaving, increased during the deferment period and not payable until a later date.

Unless you decide to transfer your deferred benefits to another pension scheme, they will normally be paid at your normal pension age (unless you elect to defer drawing them until later). However they may be brought into payment earlier, and in full, in the event of permanent ill-health.

You can, if you wish, elect to receive your deferred benefits early from age 55 onwards.  Benefits paid early, other than on the grounds of permanent ill-health, will be reduced to take account of their early payment and the fact that your pension will be paid for longer.

If you die before your deferred benefits come into payment, a lump sum death grant equal to 5 years’ pension will be paid.  A widow’s, widower’s, civil partner’s or, subject to the certain qualifying conditions, an eligible cohabiting partner’s pension and pensions for eligible children will also be payable.

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