85 Year Rule

If you were a member of the LGPS at anytime between 1 April 1998 and 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits could be protected from an early payment reduction under what is called the 85 year rule. If you have 85 year rule protection this continues to apply from 1 April 2014. The only occasion where this protection does not automatically apply is if you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60.

To have protection under the 85 year rule you must satisfy the following condition at the date you draw your pension benefits:

Your age (in whole years) plus your scheme membership (in whole years) must add up to 85.

If you work part-time, your membership counts towards the rule of 85 at its full calendar length. Not all membership may count towards working out whether you meet the 85 year rule.

If you take flexible retirement, any 85 year rule protection will apply to the benefits you've built up to the date of flexible retirement but will not apply to benefits you build up after the date of flexible retirement.

If you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60 and you have rule of 85 protections, these will not automatically apply. Your employer can choose to allow the rule of 85 to apply. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy is on this matter. If you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60 and your employer does not choose to allow the rule of 85 to apply, your benefits are reduced.

The table below will help you work out your general position in relation to the 85 year rule, however, you should be aware that the rules governing how the 85 year rule protection applies, and the level of that protection, are quite complex. If you are thinking of voluntarily retiring, asking for flexible retirement or taking your deferred benefit before your Normal Pension Age, you should contact your Pension Fund for a quotation of the benefits payable. If you are thinking of asking for flexible retirement you should firstly contact your employer to check what their policy is for this type of retirement.

The protected Normal Retirement Age (referred to in the table below)for almost all members who joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014 is 65.

If you would not satisfy the 85 year rule by the time you are 65 All your benefits are reduced if you choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age. The reduction will be based on how many years before your Normal Retirement Age (protected Normal Pension Age for pension built up before 1 April 2014) and new Normal Pension Age (linked to State Pension Age) for pension built up from 1 April 2014) you draw your benefits
If you will be age 60 or over by 31 March 2016 and choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension AgeProvided you satisfy the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you build up to 31 March 2016 will not be reduced
If you will be under age 60 by 31 March 2016 and choose to draw your pension before your protected Normal Pension AgeProvided you satisfy the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you've built up to 31 March 2008 will not be reduced
If you will be aged 60 between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020 and meet the 85 year rule by 31 March 2020Some or all of the benefits you build up between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2020 will not have a full reduction.

Your employer can agree not to make any reduction. You can ask them what their policy on this is.