Making sure your Lump Sum Exit Scheme application is accurate

By Robert Blair, Partner and ARA specialist

Farmers who have been approved for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme in England are being urged to promptly return their final documentation to avoid missing out on their payments.

According to the Tenant Farming Association (TFA), the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has reported that about 500 approved applicants failed to submit their evidence and entitlements forms by the deadline of 31 May 2024.

While the RPA is willing to consider individual cases of late submission due to unforeseen circumstances, they cannot guarantee that late submissions will result in payment.

Farmers should act promptly to avoid any potential issues with their applications.

Steps to ensure your submission is complete

  • Make sure to check any communications from the RPA. The agency has been actively reminding customers and reaching out to individuals who need to provide additional evidence or information.
  • Ensure all required documents are complete and accurate. This includes transferring agricultural land in England (keeping up to 5 hectares), transferring any grazing and pannage rights on common land, and surrendering your English BPS entitlements.
  • Even though the official deadline has passed, submit your documentation as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Contact the RPA to explain any unforeseen circumstances that caused the delay.

Understanding the Lump Sum Exit Scheme

The Lump Sum Exit Scheme was created for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applicants in England who wish to retire or pursue a different occupation. This one-off payment is intended to help farmers transition out of farming.

The scheme only affects those in England and does not impact agricultural land, BPS entitlements, or business activity in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the lump sum payment, your farm business must have either:

  • Claimed and been eligible for BPS payments in the 2018 scheme year or earlier.
  • Inherited agricultural land in England, or succeeded to an Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancy, after 15 May 2018.

Before receiving the payment, you must:

  • Transfer your agricultural land in England (keeping up to 5 hectares) or plant it with trees under a woodland creation scheme.
  • Transfer any grazing and pannage rights on common land in England.
  • Surrender your English BPS entitlements.

Once the payment is received, you can still work as an agricultural contractor or for other farmers.

If you have had problems submitting your application or would like help to ensure it is accurate, please reach out to us today.