What is the 85 year rule?
The 85 year rule was designed to help members access their pension from age 60 without all of the early retirement reductions being applied. From 1 October 2006, the 85 year rule has been phased out, but anyone with Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) service before this date may still have some protections.
You can register or log in to My Pension to calculate personalised pension estimates which will include any 85 year protections you may have.
Your LGPS benefits are payable in full from your normal pension age (NPA) which is linked to your State Pension age (SPA). If you have membership in the LGPS before 1 April 2014, then this will have a NPA of age 65.
However, you can voluntarily retire and draw your pension from the LGPS at any time from age 55. If you choose to take your pension before your NPA, it will normally be reduced as it's being paid earlier. The amount your pension is reduced by depends on when you retire – see the current table of LGPS early retirement factors for details.
The 85 year rule is satisfied when your age plus your Scheme membership (both in whole years) adds up to 85 or more. When voluntarily retiring before your NPA, we look at how many years early you are choosing to access your benefits. We apply a reduction for each of these years. The 85 year rule is then applied using the table below and helps to eliminate some, but not all, of these reductions.
|Pension built up before 31 March 2008||Pension built up between 01 April 2008 and 31 March 2014||Pension built up between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016||Pension built up between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020||Pension built up after 1 April 2020|
|Members born before 1 April 1956||Protected||Protected||Protected||No protection||No protection|
|Members born between 1 April 1956 and 31 March 1960||Protected||Partial protection||Partial protection||Partial protection||No protection|
|Members born on or after 1 April 1960||Protected||No protection||No protection||No protection||No protection|
Membership pre 1 April 2008 (16 years)As Mrs Smith meets the 85 year rule when she retires, these benefits will not be reduced
|Date of birth||31/08/1960|
Membership 1 April 2008 – 31 March 2014 (6 years)These benefits will be subject to a five year reduction as Mrs Smith is taking them at 60 instead of 65. Due to her date of birth, she will not have any 85 year protection for this period of membership
|Pre 31 March 2008 (Final salary) NPA||65|
|Post 1 April 2014 (career average revalued earnings) NPA||67 (SPA)|
|Years’ membership in the LGPS||28|
All membership post 1 April 2014 (6 years)These benefits will be subject to a seven year reduction as Mrs Smith is taking them at 60 instead of age 67 (her NPA). Due to her date of birth, she will not have any 85 year protection for this period of membership.
|Meets 85 year rule||Yes (age 60 + 28 years' service = 88)|
If you choose to take your benefits before meeting the 85 year rule you may still have some protections. My Pension will pick this up and apply this automatically.
Ultimately this is a personal choice. My Pension allows you to calculate your pension estimates between age 55 and NPA. This figure will include any 85 year protections, and subsequent reductions helping you plan for the right time to access your LGPS benefits. Regardless of whether you meet the 85 year rule or not, we would encourage you to focus on the actual value of your pension benefits at your chosen date.
When calculating the years of membership that count towards any 85 year protection, we include years of membership even when you are no longer a contributing member.