Types of Retirement
Retiring at Normal Pension Age or later
You will be paid age retirement benefits on application at Normal Pension Age (NPA) if you are no longer in pensionable employment. If you remain in employment after NPA, you will be paid benefits when you eventually cease pensionable employment. If you have a break in pensionable employment after NPA, even for one day, you will be entitled to benefits from that date. All reckonable service up to age 75, limited to 45 years in total, will be used in the calculation of your retirement benefits.
Actuarially Reduced Benefits
Retiring between the ages of 55 and NPA
If you are aged between 55 and NPA and you have been in pensionable employment on or after 1st July 2002, you will be able to obtain early access to your pension benefits, which will be actuarially reduced, provided that your benefits are at least equal to your GMP.
If you are in pensionable employment or excluded employment when you apply for actuarially reduced benefits you must obtain the consent of your employer to gain immediate access to retirement benefits. Employers cannot withhold their consent for longer than six months from the date on which you submit your request. Subject to your employer's consent, actuarially reduced pension benefits are paid from the day after the last day of pensionable or excluded employment.
If you have already left teaching when you apply, benefits will be paid from a date not earlier than six weeks after the date of your application.
Below are tables which show the factor applied to your benefits depending on your age at the date of retirement.
Normal Pension Age 60
Normal Pension Age 65
Caused by redundancy or reorganisation
If your employer makes you redundant or you leave pensionable employment on the grounds of organisational efficiency, you may be granted premature retirement benefits. From 6th April 2010, in ALL cases, premature retirement benefits can only be awarded if the STSS member has attained age 55 by the date the pensionable or excluded employment terminates regardless of when they attained age 50. The payment of these unreduced benefits from the STSS is at the discretion of your employer. The premature retirement arrangements provide for two types of compensation payable by your employer:
Mandatory compensation - benefits (pension and lump sum) are split between the scheme and your employer. Your employer must agree to pay this if an application for premature retirement benefits is to be accepted;
Discretionary compensation - your benefits may be increased by your employer to compensate that you have had to retire early. Whether to increase your benefits in this way is entirely at the discretion of your employer and is subject to certain limits.
Drawing part of your benefits whilst continuing in service
After age 55 you can apply to take phased retirement without having a break in employment provided that your pensionable salary reduces by
20% or more for at least 12 months. SPPA recommend full discussion with your employer prior to commencing this arrangement. The maximum you can draw under this arrangement is 75% of your total benefits. The remaining service, which must be at least 25%, will be aggregated with any subsequent service you accrue and used in future benefit calculations. The benefits taken will be actuarially reduced if they are taken before your NPA.
Winding Down employment
Winding Down is a phased retirement option which, if you are approaching retirement age, offers you the opportunity to continue in employment on a part-time basis whilst protecting your overall final retirement benefits entitlement.
You cannot elect to enter winding down employment earlier than four years prior to NPA. You must have a minimum of 25 years teaching service (i.e. you must have had a contract to teach for at least 25 years) of which the last 10 years must have been full-time service. A break of up to five
years will count as qualifying service, but will not count in the calculation for benefits.