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The 85 rule

If you joined before 1 October 2006, and have long service, the rule of 85 may help you choose to retire early, without facing the same early retirement reductions as other members.

The 85 rule is satisfied if your age at the date you draw your pension plus your Scheme membership (both in whole years) adds up to 85 or more.

Example

Brenda is choosing to retire early at 62, and she has 24 years in the scheme...

Age: 62
Years: 24
Total: 86

So she has already passed the 85 rule - which will in some cases help her avoid early retirement reductions...

Please note: if you choose to retire early at 55-59, the 85 rule will generally not offer you any protection, unless your employer 'switches it back on'.

If you will not satisfy the 85 year rule by the time you are 65, then all your benefits will be reduced if you choose to draw them before your Normal Pension Age. The reduction will be based on how many years before your Normal Pension Age you draw your benefits. (Normal Pension Age is 65 for your benefits built up before April 2014, and is 65 (or State pension age if later) for your benefits built up from April 2014).

Members aged 60 and over by 31 March 2016

Provided 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.

Members aged under 60 by 31 March 2016

Provided 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. Also, if you will be aged 60 between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020 and meet the 85 year rule by 31 March 2020, some or all of the benefits you build up between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2020 will only have a partial reduction.

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