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      The Environment Agency Team

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Benefits in the Scheme before 2014

The 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 Local Government Pension Scheme (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 browse the benefits section.

As a member of the EAPF, you have 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 they receive for each year. Prior to 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 of ceasing active membership of the scheme. For more information about your benefits in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 and what the changes mean, please download our Scheme guide and FAQs.

There are numerous benefits to being a deferred member of the LGPS, including:

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 the cost of living 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 information please see our 'When can I take my pension?' and 'final pay protections' factsheets.

What happens if I chose 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, or you do not immediately enter into a new pension arrangement, you'll retain your right to a CETV up to 1 year before your normal pension age providing you also left your employment at least 1 year before your normal pension age. You cannot transfer your pension once payment has commenced.

What about any Additional Voluntary Contributions I may have 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 will give you a full quotation detailing what your Scheme benefits will buy you, together with further information to help you make your decision. You should not make a final decision on the transfer until you have read and understood this information. You should consider taking advice if you are unsure about whether a transfer is in your best interest.

For more information you see our guide to transferring out, which you can either download or view online.

85 year rule

If you were a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 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 the flowchart here.