Rule of 85 protections
What is the Rule of 85?
The Rule of 85 is satisfied if your age at the date you draw your benefits and your scheme membership (each in whole years) add up to 85 or more.
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 Rule of 85.
Any Rule of 85 protection that you had in the final salary scheme prior to 1 April 2014, continues to apply in the career average scheme from 1 April 2014.
If you don't satisfy the Rule of 85 by the time you are aged 65, then all of your benefits are reduced if you choose to draw them before your Normal Pension Age. The reduction will be based on how many years before your Normal Pension Age (protected Normal Pension Age for pension built up before 1 April 2014 and new Normal Pension Age (linked to State Pension Age) for pension built up from 1 April 2014) you draw your benefits.
If you take flexible retirement, any Rule of 85 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.
What if I choose to retire between the ages of 55 and 60 and I satisfy the Rule of 85?
If you choose to voluntarily draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60, and you satisfy the Rule of 85, protection will only apply if your employer allows it. This is an employer discretion and you should 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 allow the Rule of 85 to apply, then all of your benefits will be reduced.
What if I choose to retire after age 60 and before my Normal Pension Age and I satisfy the Rule of 85?
If you were before 1 April 1956, and choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age, then, provided you satisfy the Rule of 85 when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you build up to 31 March 2016 will not be reduced.
If you were born between 1 April 1956 and 31 March 1960, and meet the Rule of 85 by 31 March 2020, then some or all of the benefits you build up between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2020 will not have a full reduction.