The Lump Sum Exit Scheme assists farmers looking to retire or take up a different occupation with the payment of a lump sum in return for transferring their agricultural land. If you’re eligible for the scheme, you can apply until midnight on 30 September 2022.
Are You Eligible For The Lump Sum Exit Scheme
To apply for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme, you must have been eligible for, and claim Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments in 2018 scheme year or earlier. You would also be eligible if you inherited agricultural land in England, or succeeded to an Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancy, after 15 May 2018.
What You Need To Do
- Transfer your agricultural land (subject to limited exceptions) or plant it with trees under a woodland creation scheme;
- Transfer grazing and pannage rights you have on common land in England, where required;
- Give up (surrender) your English BPS entitlements.
Any land and common rights must have been transferred by 31 May 2024, you may in limited circumstances apply for an extension.
Woodland Creation Schemes
Instead of transferring your land, you can enter some, or all of the land, into woodland creation schemes such as:
- Any Nature for Climate Fund woodland creation scheme, such as the England Woodland Creation Offer or Woodland Creation Partnerships
- The Woodland Carbon Guarantee
You must be accepted under one of the woodland creation schemes, and have planted the trees on the land by 31 May 2024.
Giving Up BPS Entitlements
You have until 31 May 2024 to:
- Give up (surrender) all English BPS entitlements to the Rural Payments Agency that you own which are not leased out
- Confirm that you will give up any English BPS entitlements to the Rural Payments Agency that you own which are leased out, with the surrender coming into effect at the end of the entitlements’ lease (it doesn’t matter when the entitlements lease ends).
To give up BPS entitlements, you need to fill in and send a Lump Sum Exit Scheme entitlements and evidence form to the Rural Payments Agency. They will use the information on this form to cancel the entitlements.
You will still need to apply for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme as a partnership or limited company, which will mean at least some members giving up their BPS entitlements. Although the other partners or members will not be required to give up their BPS entitlements, subject to requirements.
How To Apply For A Lump Sum Payment
Before applying, you can request a forecast statement showing the lump sum payment you may be entitled to.
You can either apply online by logging in to the Rural Payments service, or through a paper application by using the application form on GOV.UK.
Applying For BPS in 2022 and 2023
You can still apply for BPS in 2022 as well as applying for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme. If you find you are not eligible for the lump sum or cannot transfer your land in time, you will still be able to receive BPS payments. If you are eligible for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme, you can withdraw your application for BPS.
Seek Legal Advice
It would be pertinent to instruct a solicitor to assist you in applying for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme. A solicitor can help you navigate through the application process and get you the best deal available.