Early Retirement

Early retirement
The circumstances in which you may take your pension before your normal retirement age are described below. The earliest age that you can draw your pension is known as the minimum pension age. This varies depending on the section of the Scheme that you are in and when you started pensionable employment.

In the unlikely event that your reduced pension is less than the Guaranteed Minimum Pension, you will not be able to take actuarially reduced early retirement benefits. NHS Pensions will advise you if this is the case and your options will be explained.

You may apply for actuarially reduced early retirement by completing a form which you can get from your employer.

Members with deferred benefits who left the Scheme after 30 March 2000 may also choose to retire early on a reduced pension. If you were an active member between 31 March 2000 and 5 April 2006 you may take your pension from age 50. If you were not an active member between these dates then you cannot take your pension until age 55. You may apply for early retirement by contacting NHS Pensions directly. Pensions that are paid early are increased with inflation each April, but this will only start once you reach age 55, at which point your pension will be increased to take account of changes since it was awarded.

Actuarially reduced early retirement benefits

1995 Section

If you joined the 1995 section before 6 April 2006 you can choose to take actuarially reduced early retirement from age 50 and receive reduced benefits. Your pension and retirement lump sum are reduced because they are being paid earlier than expected. Your dependants will still get any benefits they are entitled to in full.

If you joined the 1995 section on or after 6 April 2006 your minimum pension age will change to 55 on 6 April 2010. If you returned to the Scheme after 6 April 2006 this may also apply to you.

Scheme fact
If you have Special Class Status and you retire voluntarily before age 55 your benefits will be reduced as if your normal retirement age was 60.

The following table shows how much your pension and lump sum is reduced by if you choose to retire early. If you retire between the ages shown the benefits payable will vary.

Age

59

58

57

56

55

54

53

52

51

50

Pension 

5%

10%

14%

18%

22%

25%

29%

32%

34%

37%

Lump sum

3%

7%

9%

12%

15%

18%

20%

23%

25%

27%

2008 Section

The minimum pension age in the 2008 section is 55. You can choose to take voluntary early retirement from the minimum retirement age and receive reduced benefits. Your pension is reduced to allow for the fact that it is being paid earlier than expected. Your dependants will still get any benefits they are entitled to in full.

The following table shows how much your pension is reduced by if you choose to retire early. If you retire between the ages shown the benefits payable will vary. If you take a lump sum, this is calculated from your pension after reduction. There are no reduction factors for lump sums in the 2008 section.

Age

64

63

62

61

60

59

58

57

56

55

Pension 

6%

11%

15%

19%

24%

27%

31%

34%

37%

40%