The 85 Year Rule

If you have rule of 85 protection this will continue 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.

The rule of 85 protects some or all of your benefits from the normal early payment reduction. To have rule of 85 protection you must have been a member of the LGPS on 30 September 2006. The rule of 85 is satisfied if your age at the date when you draw your pension plus your Scheme membership (each in whole years) adds up to 85 years or more.

Working out how you are affected by the rule of 85 can be quite complex, but here is some information to help you work out your general position when you draw your benefits. For a more detailed understanding of your own position you can contact the pension team directly on 0845 602 7237.

  • If you would not satisfy the 85 year rule by the time you are 65, then 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 Pension Age (protected Normal Pension Age for pension built up to April 2014 and new Normal Pension Age linked to State Pension Age) for pension built up from 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 Age, then, 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.
  • If you will be under age 60 by 31 March 2016 and choose to draw your pension before your protected Normal Pension Age, then, 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 not have a full reduction.

Rule of 85 and drawing your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60

From 1 April 2014 there is a new option in the LGPS where you can choose to voluntarily draw your pension on ceasing your employment from age 55 and before age 60 without the need for your employer's permission. The rule of 85 will not automatically be applied if you decide to draw your benefits under this new option but your employer can exercise their discretion to apply it. If they do, and you meet the rule of 85 at the date of drawing your benefits, the rules set out in the second and third bullet points above will apply.

If your employer does not exercise the discretion to apply the rule of 85, the protections referred to in the second and third bullet points above do not apply in full. From 1 April 2014 you will be able to ask your employer what their policy is on exercising the discretion to apply the rule of 85 to benefits drawn before age 60.

Modified: 2014-03-04
Published: 2014-03-31 15:33
Author/Editor: Joanne Brazier/Kevin.Taylor
RDCMS ID: 23008
LGSL PID:
IPSV: Occupational Pensions