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If you leave the LGPS without becoming entitled to immediate payment of your pension, your options will be to:

  • Keep your benefits in the EAPF (known as deferred benefits)
  • Transfer your benefits to a registered (i.e. approved by HMRC) pension scheme

However, on reaching age 55, you may be entitled to receive early payment of your pension.

For more details about receiving your pension early, please read our guide for deferred members.

Click on 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're thinking about transferring, watch our helpful video called 'Transferring your pension'.

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.

If you're thinking about transferring, you should also watch our helpful video called 'Transferring your pension'.

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.

Pension tracing service

EAPF - Annual Pension Statement image
The Pension Tracing Service can help you to trace lost pension rights. If you were in a workplace pension scheme in the past but have lost touch you can contact the Pension Tracing Service to find your old scheme.
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