Please find in this bulletin an overview of the retirement options available to you in the 1995 and 2008 Sections as well as the new 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.
Step Down (Available in 1995, 2008 and 2015 NHS Pensions)
You can 'step down' to a different role to reduce your level of responsibility whilst remaining in NHS employment.
Depending on your age at the time you step down, you may be able to protect a higher level of pay for the calculation of your future pension benefits so that the impact of a change in work only affects your future pension earned after stepping down.
This option may support you to remain in work in the run up to your Normal Pension Age as working at a lower level may feel more achievable and may be more financially advantageous rather than retiring from work completely.
Wind Down (Available in 1995, 2008 and 2015 NHS Pensions)
You can 'wind down' to retirement by remaining in your current post, but reducing the number of hours or days you work. Pensions for part-time staff are calculated on the whole time equivalent salary and not the actual salary. Therefore, the only impact this may have is on the length of your membership, as it will take longer to build up future membership if your are working less than full time hours.
This option may support you to remain in work for a longer period of time before retirement and could be used in conjunction with a flexible working request.
Retire and Return to NHS Employment (Available in 1995, 2008 and 2015 NHS Pensions)
Once you have reached the minimum pension age you can choose to retire, claim your pension benefits and then return to NHS employment.
Remember, if you retire before your Normal Pension Age, your benefits will be reduced on account of them being paid early. You are expected to have a break in service before you return to NHS employment.
If you retire from the 1995 section you may return to NHS employment but cannot continue to contribute to the NHS Pension Scheme, unless you retire on ill-health grounds and are under the age of 50.
If you retire from the 2008 section or the 2015 scheme, you may return to NHS employment and will be able to continue contributing to the NHS Pension Scheme.
Draw Down (Only Available in 2008 and 2015 NHS Pensions)
Draw down allows you to access some of your pension benefits without having to retire from employment. You can take between 20 per cent and 80 per cent of your pension benefits, stay working and continue to build up future membership in the scheme. You can draw down on up to two occasions before retiring completely. Please remember that if your draw down any benefits before your Normal Pension Age, your benefits will be reduced to take account of their early payment.
If you are aged over your Normal Pension Age and your pay is reduced by at least 10 per cent, you can also partially retire and take some pension benefits. The pensionable pay must be reduced for at least a year or you will cease to be eligible for the pension you have drawn.
This option may be attractive if you need to supplement your income in the run up to full retirement.
Late Retirement Enhancement (Only Available in 2008 and 2015 NHS Pensions)
If you continue working past your Normal Pension Age and have not drawn from your pension at all, your pension benefits will be increased by the application of late retirement factors.
You can benefit from working longer ot achieve an increase in pension benefits when you come to draw down your pension.
Early Retirement Reduced Buy-Out (Only Available in 2015 NHS Pension)
This provision allows you make additional contributions to the scheme that will allow you retire earlier than your Normal Pension Age without any early retirement reduction (although not more than three years earlier than your Normal Pension Age.
There are strict time limits on when you can enter into such a buy-out arrangement which will be available in due course.
If you are approaching retirement and would like a review of the options available to you please do get in touch:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 9665699.