Following the end of SPS in 2014 all entitlements held at that time automatically became Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements from 1 January 2015. There has, however, been a significant change to the usage rules for the new scheme.
In 2015 any entitlements not activated will automatically be lost and will form part of the National Reserve. From 2016 any entitlements not used will have to be used the following year or they, too, will be lost. In other words every entitlement must be used at least once in every two years – there will be no automatic rotation of entitlements as happened over the last years of SPS.
Entitlement transfers can now be done at any time up to the application deadline for the relevant scheme year if they are to apply for that year. There is no longer a 6 week waiting period for transfers which should, once the new Rural Payments system is working properly, be confirmed within days. At the time of writing this note (August 2015) we are still working on a paper based system and have no idea when transfers will be processed.