From age 55 you have the option to flexibly retire. This means you can take some or all your pension benefits already built up, but also continue working. You must have been in your role for two years or more and have agreed with your employer that you'll either work reduced hours, or move to a lower paid position.
If you wish to apply for a flexible retirement then you must ask your employer. Your employer’s discretion policy should say how they deal with flexible retirement requests.
If your employer agrees to flexible retirement, you'd have to take:
- all benefits from any pre 1 April 2008 membership
- all, none or some of your benefits for membership from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014
- all, none or some of your benefits for pension built up from 1 April 2014
- any additional benefits you have including; added years, APCs and ARCs.
If you take flexible retirement before your normal pension age, your benefits are worked out to the date of the flexible retirement and they'll normally be reduced for early payment. If you were a member of the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early could be protected from the reduction if you are a rule of 85 protected member. Your employer may, however, determine not to apply all or part of any reduction. You can ask them what their policy on this is.
If you take flexible retirement after your normal pension age, your benefits will be increased to reflect late payment.
What happens after I flexibly retire?
If your employer agrees to flexible retirement you can still draw your wages/salary from your job on the reduced hours or grade and continue paying into the LGPS, building up further benefits in the scheme. If you do not wish to continue paying into the LGPS after flexibly retiring you must opt out of the LGPS. If you do not opt out, your LGPS membership will continue automatically in your job on the reduced hours or grade. If you want to ensure that no pension contributions are deducted immediately after flexibly retiring, you should give your employer advance notice of this, i.e. before the flexible retirement takes place. It is important, however, that you should not specify an opting out date earlier than the reduction in hours/grade takes affect, or you may invalidate the flexible retirement.
Thinking about flexibly retiring?
If you're thinking of flexibly retiring you should contact us for a quote of the benefits you could get, or log into ‘My Pension Online’. You can also use ‘My Pension Online‘ to run quotes on converting some of your annual pension to provide a lump sum if this is a retirement option that you are considering. The LGPS member website also has a calculator to help you investigate this potential retirement option.
My pension online
View your pension account and update your personal details.