Rather than continuing in your job to your normal pension age or beyond, you may wish to consider the possibility of flexible retirement. From age 55, if you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position, and provided you have met the 2 years vesting period in the scheme, and your employer agrees, you can draw some or all of the pension benefits you have built up and continue working helping you ease into retirement. Your employer will have a policy on flexible retirement. You can ask your employer for details of their policy.
If you wish to apply for a flexible retirement then this request must be made to your employer. If your employer agrees to flexible retirement then you would have to draw:
- all of the benefits that relate to any pre 1 April 2008 membership, plus
- all, none or some of the benefits that relate to your membership from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014, plus
- all, none or some of the benefits that relate to your pension built up from 1 April 2014, plus
- any additional benefits including added years, additional pension being purchased either through APCs/SCAPCs or ARCs, additional pension awarded by your employer and any AVCs (should you choose to draw these).
If you take flexible retirement before your normal pension age your benefits are calculated to the date of the flexible retirement and will 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.
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.
If you are thinking of flexibly retiring you should contact Shropshire County Pension Fund for a quotation of the benefits payable or log into ‘My Pension Online’. You can also use ‘My Pension Online‘ to run calculations 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.
Calculator (this link will redirect you to the national LGPS member website)