Rule of 85

The Rule of 85 is not a type of retirement. It is a way of checking whether a member's pension would be reduced if it is paid early.

What is the Rule of 85?

Member's whose age plus scheme membership (in whole years) equals 85 may be able to take their pension before their Normal Pension Age, without it being reduced for early payment. 

The Rule of 85 was abolished in 2006 but protection was put in place which allows some members to qualify for Rule of 85 protection. 

Rule of 85 Checker

We've created a helpful tool for you to see instantly if you qualify for Rule of 85 protection. Simply answer each question by clicking 'Yes' or 'No' to see if you're eligible.

  1. Were you a member of the Pension Scheme before 1 December 2006 in the pension record that you are intending to retire from?

  2. Were you born before 1 April 1960?

    • As long as you retire after age 60 and your age when you retire plus your membership equals at least 85, then all your pension benefits built up to 31 March 2020 are paid unreduced.
    • Any pension benefits built up after 31 March 2020 will be reduced if you retire before your Normal Pension Age.
    • As long as you retire after age 60 and your age when you retire plus your membership equals at least 85, then all your pension benefits built up to 31 March 2008 are paid unreduced.
    • Any pension benefits built up after 31 March 2008 will be reduced if you retire before your Normal Pension Age.
  3. You have no Rule of 85 protection and your benefits will be reduced if you retire before your Normal Pension Age.

Disclaimer - This tool is not intended to cover every personal circumstance, nor does it confer any contractual or statuatory rights and is provided for information purposes only. In the event of any dispute over your pension benefits the appropriate leglislation will prevail.

More on Rule of 85

  • Rule of 85 only applies if you take your pension on or after age 60. So even if your meet the Rule of 85 before 60, your benefits would still be reduced if you took them before age 60.
  • Membership - This is the period of time in calendar years that you have been a member of the pension scheme in the record that you are retiring from. Breaks in membership do not count towards these years.
  • Normal Pension Age - For benefits built up to 31st March 2015 this is age 65. For benefits built up after 31st March 2015 this is the same as your State Pension Age (or age 65 for members with a State Pension Age younger than 65.)
  • Reduction Factors - information on this can be found here
  • More than one pension record - If you have multiple records, Rule of 85 is applied on a record-by-record basis. So if you have Rule of 85 protection in one record but not another, it is only applied to the record which does have it. Similarly it is only membership for the record that qualifies for Rule of 85 which counts. You do not add your length of membership from each record to help you reach 85.

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