Less than 2 years (and have not transferred in pension rights to the Scheme from elsewhere)

On leaving, you have the following options:

  • You can claim a refund of your contributions
  • You may be able to transfer your benefits to a new pension arrangement
  • You can delay your decision until you know what you would like to do - this is known as a frozen refund. You have a maximum of 5 years after leaving to make your decision.

2 years or more (or have transferred in pension rights to the Scheme from another pension scheme)

On leaving, you have two options:

  • You can choose to keep your pension in the Scheme - this is known as deferred pension. CARE pensions can go down as well as up, and this applies for both active and deferred members. Your pension from the Scheme is increased each year in line with the cost of living which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Once in payment they cannot go down, so in the rare case of deflation, your pension would remain unchanged.
  • You may be able to transfer your pension to a new pension arrangement, although in some circumstances you may need to receive impartial, independent financial advice before you can do so.


You must have less than 2 years Scheme membership and must not have transferred in benefits from another pension scheme, to get a refund of your contributions.

Only your own contributions are refundable, those paid by your employer are not. There will be deductions to account for tax relief and, if applicable, National Insurance.

Please also explore the further information sections below to learn more about leaving the LGPS and the next steps you should take if you would like to transfer your benefits. Should you wish to keep some money in the Scheme, you will find details about your deferred benefits as well.

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