Find out more about the Lump Sum Exit Scheme

12 April 2022

Farm business Agricultural Transition Plan
A view of faming landscape, fields, trees and farm buildings.

The RPA opened the application window for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme on 12 April 2022. Download our briefing to find out what you need to consider if you're thinking of making an application.

The application window for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme will run to 30 September 2022. 

The Lump Sum Exit Scheme is for BPS applicants in England who wish to leave farming, either to retire or take up a different occupation. Agricultural land, BPS entitlements and business activity in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are not affected.

Under the scheme, once a lump sum payment is made, you will no longer be eligible for BPS payments or delinked payments (which will begin in 2024) in England.

Visit the Defra website for more guidance on the scheme and information about eligibility: Lump sum payments for farmers who leave or retire from farming, and delinked payments

What is the NFU's position?

NFU Vice President David Exwood said: “With the rollout of the first domestic agricultural policy for more than 40 years currently taking place, farmers across the country will be making difficult decisions about the future of their farm business.

"For those thinking of leaving the industry, the opening of the scheme today gives them the opportunity to do so. I would encourage anyone considering this to take advantage of the free and confidential business advice being funded by Defra. "
NFU Vice President David Exwood

“For those thinking of leaving the industry, the opening of the scheme today gives them the opportunity to do so. Farming is a job like no other and deciding to leave the industry will be deeply subjective to each person.

“I would encourage anyone considering this to take advantage of the free and confidential business advice being funded by Defra.

“We will also continue working with Defra on the crucial New Entrants Scheme which we hope will provide a pipeline for new talent to enter the industry.”

Defra's Future Farming Resilience Fund

To help farmers through the transition away from Direct Payments, currently paid as BPS, Defra has created the Future Farming Resilience Fund (FFRF) offering free business advice open to any farm currently in receipt of direct payments. Find out about the support available under Defra's Future Farming Resilience Fund.


In 2021, Defra consulted on the administration of direct payments and a lump sum exit payment for farmers who may be looking to leave the industry. 

This consultation formed part of the ATP (Agricultural Transition Programme).

The NFU collated feedback from thousands of members in order to respond to Defra. Our response made clear that the industry cannot accept a one size fits all approach.

How the NFU can help you

Members requiring legal advice on the Lump Sum Exit Scheme payment or broader succession planning will be entitled to take advantage of the NFU Legal Health Check service which is delivered through our Legal Panel Firms.

The service (available to all Farmer & Grower members) aims to help identify any concerns, gaps or other legal matters members need to address to help secure their farming, growing and diversified businesses. 

Business resilience

It can also significantly help underpin business resilience during these uncertain times. It covers various topics including estate planning, reviewing business structures, lasting powers of attorney, partnership agreements, succession planning and many more. 

It can also be used by members when considering whether to apply for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme payments, as well as general plans for the future implementation of Defra’s post CAP support framework under the Agricultural Transition Plan and ELMs.

Financial assistance

In addition, all Farmer & Grower members who subscribe to the LAS (Legal Assistance Scheme) can apply for financial assistance of up to a maximum of £1000 for four sets of instructions (at £250 each) generated by the Legal Health Check carried out by the NFU Legal Panel Firms.

We hope members will take advantage of this service to determine whether it is possible and how to gain access to these payments in support of their families and businesses.

Further information

The NFU's advisers have put together a summary of the Lump Sum Exit Scheme. It covers:

  • scheme rules
  • application and claim process
  • timeline summary

File downloads


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