Flexible retirement options for members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

University employees who are members of the LGPS and are aged over 55 may now apply to the University for either or both of two flexible retirement options. These allow accrued pension benefits to be paid before the normal age of retirement, while the employee continues to work at the University and to draw a salary. In most cases the pension benefits payable will be actuarially reduced to reflect the fact that they are being paid early, and therefore, potentially for a longer period.

The University will consider applications for flexible retirement on the basis of the cost (if any) to the University and the operational needs of the University.

Option 1: Flexible retirement with a reduced number of weekly/monthly working hours

Applications should be made through the standard procedure for requesting changes to an employee’s hours of pattern of work, including the formal request for flexible retirement as part of the reduced work package. The University will obtain an estimate of the cost to the University from the scheme administrator and the line Manager and link HR Manager will hold a meeting with the applicant within 28 calendar days of receiving the estimate, to discuss the outcome and whether the application can be guaranteed.

The total hours of work must be reduced by at least 20% for flexible retirement to be granted.

Option 2: Flexible retirement with a reduction in grade

Applications should be raised initially with the employee’s line Manager and Dean/Director. If the application is supported in principle, the Directorate of Human Resources will obtain an estimate of the cost to the University from the scheme administrator and will reach a decision on the application. Access to lower graded posts may be secured through either the redeployment or recruitment procedures.

Where a voluntary severance scheme is in operation, the University will consider flexible retirement together with partial severance. The cost to the University (if any) will be offset against the severance payment and, if the cost of flexible retirement exceeds the severance payment that is due, flexible retirement will not normally be allowed.