Your Normal Pension Age (NPA) will match your State Pension Age, with a minimum of age 65 applying where State Pension Age is lower than 65. Please note, your State Pension Age could well change in the future; if this happens it will affect your Normal Pension Age. If you don't know what your State Pension Age is, see the State Pension Age Calculator here.

The earliest age that an employee is entitled to claim their pension is age 55. Employer consent is not required. Unless your former LGPS employer agrees otherwise, benefits will be reduced for early payment to reflect the fact that they are to be paid for longer. See the current table of reduction factors for more information:

Table of Reduction Factors 

Number of Years Paid Early Pension reduction Lump Sum
(for membership to 31 March 2008)
0 0% 0%
1 5.1% 2.3%
2 9.9% 4.6%
3 14.3% 6.9%
4 18.4% 9.1%
5 22.2% 11.2%
6 25.7% 13.3%
7 29.0% 15.3%
8 32.1% 17.3%
9 35.0% 19.2%
10 37.7% 21.1%
11 41.6% N/A
12 44.0% N/A
13 46.3% N/A

There are exceptions to this and these can be seen within the following pages.

The 85 Year Rule

If you were a member of the LGPS at anytime between 1 April 1998 and 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits could be protected from an early payment reduction under what is called the 85 year rule. If you have 85 year rule protection this continues 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.

To have protection under the 85 year rule you must satisfy the following condition at the date you draw your pension benefits:

Your age (in whole years) plus your scheme membership (in whole years) must add up to 85.

If you work part-time, your membership counts towards the rule of 85 at its full calendar length. Not all membership may count towards working out whether you meet the 85 year rule.

If you take flexible retirement, any 85 year rule protection will apply to the benefits you've built up to the date of flexible retirement but will not apply to benefits you build up after the date of flexible retirement.

If you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60 and you have rule of 85 protections, these will not automatically apply. Your employer can choose to allow the rule of 85 to apply. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy is on this matter. If you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60 and your employer does not choose to allow the rule of 85 to apply, your benefits are reduced.

The table below will help you work out your general position in relation to the 85 year rule, however, you should be aware that the rules governing how the 85 year rule protection applies, and the level of that protection, are quite complex. If you are thinking of voluntarily retiring, asking for flexible retirement or taking your deferred benefit before your Normal Pension Age, you should contact your Pension Fund for a quotation of the benefits payable. If you are thinking of asking for flexible retirement you should firstly contact your employer to check what their policy is for this type of retirement.

The protected Normal Retirement Age (referred to in the table below)for almost all members who joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014 is 65.

Additional Protections - 85 Year Rule

Service accrued from the 1st April 2008, depending on age and length of membership is treated differently and there have been some quite complex protections put in place for protected members.

The protections are structured as follows:

  • If you choose to retire early and you will be 60 years of age by the 31st March 2016 and meet the rule of 85, you will not receive a reduction to any of your pension benefits accrued up until the 31st March 2016.

  • If you will be 60 years of age between the 1st April 2016 and the 31st March 2020, and meet the rule of 85 when you retire, you will receive full protection for your Scheme membership up until 31st March 2008 and partial protection for the period between then and the date you retire.

  • If you will not be 60 by 31 March 2020, then any of your Scheme membership accrued from the 1st April 2008 will be reduced if they are taken before age 65.