If you were a active member of the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits, if paid early could be protected from the reduction under what is called the 85 year rule. This rule was abolished on 1st October 2006 but with protections put in place, see below.
The 85 year rule is satisfied if your age at the date you draw your benefits and your scheme membership (each in whole years, from age 60) add up to 85 or more. If you are part-time, your membership counts towards the rule of 85 at its full calendar length.
If you have 85 year rule protection this will continue to apply from 1 April 2014. If you voluntarily choose to take your pension benefits on or after age 55 and before 60 this protection does not automatically apply, however your employer can exercise their discretion to apply it.
Working out how you are affected by the rule of 85 can be quite complex, but here is some information to help you work out your general position if you draw your benefits:
If you would not satisfy the 85 year rule by the time you are 65, then all your benefits are reduced if you choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age. The reduction will be based on how many years before your Normal Pension Age (age 65 for pension built up to April 2014 and before your State Pension Age for pension built up from April 2014) you draw your benefits.
If you will be age 60 or over by 31 March 2016 and choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age, then, provided you satisfy the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you build up to 31 March 2016 will not be reduced.
If you will be under age 60 by 31 March 2016 and choose to draw your pension before your protected Normal Pension Age, then, provided you satisfy the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you’ve built up to 31 March 2008 will not be reduced. Also, if you will be aged 60 between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020 and meet the 85 year rule by 31 March 2020, some or all of the benefits you build up between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2020 will not have a full reduction.