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The 85 Year Rule

85 Year Rule Overview

Your Local Government Pension (LGPS) is payable in full from your Normal Pension Age (NPA) which is linked to your State Pension Age (but with a minimum of age 65). If you have membership in the LGPS before 1st April 2014 then this will have a normal pension age of 65.

However, you can choose to voluntarily retire and draw your pension from the LGPS at any time from age 55. If you choose to take your pension voluntarily before your Normal Pension Age it will normally be reduced, as it's being paid earlier. Please click below to view the current table of reductions.

LGPS early retirement factors

The 85 year rule was a protection that helped members access their pension benefits from age 60, and before their NPA, without having early retirement reductions applied. The 85 year was removed on the 1st October 2006 but anyone with Local Government Pensions Scheme service prior to this date may still have some protections.

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 from age 60 and before your NPA we look at how many years early you are choosing to access your benefits. We than apply actuarial reductions for each of these years. The 85 year rule is then applied using the table below and helps to eliminate some, not all, of these reductions.


Pension built up before 31st March 2008 Pension built up between 01st April 2008 and 31st March 2014 Pension built up between 01st April 2014 and 31st March 2016 Pension built up between 01st April 2016 and 31st March 2020 Pension built up after 01st April 2020
Members Born before 01st April 1956 Protected Protected Protected No protection No protection
Members born between 1st April 1956 and 31st March 1960 Protected Partial protection Partial protection Partial protection No protection
Members born on or after 1st April 1960 Protected No protection No protection No protection No protection

What if I voluntarily retire before age 60?

In the above example, if Mrs Smith decided to voluntarily retire and take her benefits at age 57 there would automatically be an extra 3 year reduction to all of her benefits. The table above would still apply, just not to the years before age 60.


When is the best time for me to take my Local Government Pension?

Ultimately, this is personal choice. Our online My Pension system now allows you to run your own pension estimates between 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.


Do I need to wait until I meet the 85 year rule?

If you choose to take your benefits before meeting the 85 year rule you may still have some protections. The online My Pension system will pick this up and apply this automatically.

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