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07 August 2018

Pension flexibility (Freedom & Choice)

In 2015, the Government introduced ‘Freedom & choice’ for private pensions. These changes didn’t affect the LGPS directly, but there have been some changes that allow you to transfer your EAPF benefits to one of these private pension arrangements. Doing this may offer more freedom over when and how you can draw your benefits, but there are some risks in doing so.

If you do choose to take this option and your EAPF pension is valued over £30,000, you’ll be required to take independent financial advice (at your own expense) for your own financial protection.  We would recommend that you take advice regardless of the amount of transfer.

You’re unable to transfer your EAPF pension if you’re within 12 months of your normal pension age (NPA).

If you pay additional voluntary contributions (AVCs), you can transfer your AVCs as long as you’ve stopped contributing, even if you’re within 12 months of your NPA.  There’s no requirement to take independent financial advice although we would recommend that you do so.

If you’re considering transferring your Local Government Pension Scheme benefits to another pension provider, see our pension scams leaflet for more information.