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The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a single scheme covering a wide variety of employers throughout England and Wales.

There are a number of LGPS funds in England and Wales that are administered by bodies such as the Environment Agency, County Councils and other Local Authorities.

The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) is part of the LGPS and offers pension benefits for employees of the:

  • Environment Agency;
  • National Rivers Authority, who have left employment or retired since 1989;
  • Natural Resources Wales, who were employees of the Environment Agency Wales on 31 March 2013; and
  • Shared Services Connected Limited, who were employees of the Environment Agency on 31 October 2013

This page gives you a brief overview of the EAPF and the key benefits of membership.

For more detailed information, please visit our What does the Scheme provides page.

As a member of the EAPF, you've paid contributions into the LGPS. From 1 April 2014, the LGPS became a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) Defined Benefit scheme; this means that your benefits are calculated on a yearly basis, which is based on the pensionable pay you receive each year. Before 1 March 2014, the LGPS was a Final Salary Defined Benefit Scheme, meaning that members’ pensions were calculated according to their length of service in the LGPS and their final pay at the date they stopped contributory membership of the scheme.

For more details about your benefits in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 and what the changes mean, download our Scheme guide.

Click the boxes below for more information:

What happens to my benefits if I keep them in the fund?

You can leave your benefits with the Scheme until you reach retirement age, even if you start a new pension. The benefits will increase in line with inflation and you'll be given options when the benefits are due for payment.

If you choose to retire earlier than your Normal Pension Age (NPA) your pension benefits may be reduced for earlier payment. 

For more details see our 'early payment reductions' and 'final pay protections' factsheets on our Publications page.

What happens if I choose to transfer my benefits?

If you elect to transfer, the Scheme will pay a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) to your new pension provider. Payment of a CETV will discharge all EAPF pension liabilities and no further benefits will be due to you.

If you decide to keep your benefits deferred, you'll retain your right to transfer your deferred benefit up to 1 year before your normal pension age (NPA). You cannot transfer your pension once payment has commenced.

What about any Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) I've made?

If you've paid into the in-house AVC fund, you must transfer this to another pension scheme or leave this with the in-house AVC provider. If you transfer your AVCs to any other scheme, your investment options will depend on your new scheme rules.

Please note that your AVC fund may be transferred out at any time before your main Scheme benefits. In addition, your AVC fund, providing you've stopped making AVC contributions, may be transferred out whilst you're still a contributing member of the main Scheme.

How do I transfer out my benefits?

If you wish to investigate a transfer of your pension to another fund, you should contact your new pension provider who'll give you a full quotation detailing what your Scheme benefits will buy you, together with more information to help you make your decision. You should not make a final decision on the transfer until you've read and understood this information.

You should consider taking financial advice if you're unsure about whether a transfer is in your best interest. You can find an independent financial advisor in your area by visiting the Money Advice Service website.

For more details about transferring a pension, see our guide to transferring out.

85 year rule

If you were a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) at any point between 1 April 1998 and before 1 October 2006 and hold deferred benefits in the LGPS, your benefits may be protected under the 85 year rule. 

The 85 year rule is where you may be able to take your benefits unreduced if the following adds up to 85 years or more:

  • your age (in whole years), plus
  • the membership you've built up in the LGPS, plus 
  • the potential membership (in whole years) that you would've built up had you stayed in the LGPS

If you're part time, your membership is treated at its full calendar length in deciding if you meet the 85 year rule criteria.

We've created a flowchart to help you easily understand how the 85 year rule applies to your circumstances.

You can download our 85 year rule flowchart from our User Guides section on the Publications page.

You can also use our 85 Year Rule Eligibility tool to see instantly if you're protected under the 85 year rule.

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