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      The Environment Agency Team

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      DL1 1AX

What are my options

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 information on receiving your pension early, please read our guide for deferred members.

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.