What is flexible retirement?
It allows you to receive the benefits you have built up in the scheme so far whilst carrying on working.
Why flexibly retire?
We haven’t yet run a survey to find out but we think it can be broken down into two main areas. Financial and social reasons. Financial, comes from the fact that flexible retirement will allow you to draw your pension whilst continuing to take home pay from work. Social, means that you can get a taste of retirement without giving up work completely and possibly losing touch with work colleagues and contacts whom you may have known for many years.For most people a combination of both may apply.
Who can apply?
All members over the age of fifty five.
How does it work?
You must submit an application to your employer who will require you to either reduce the hours you work per week or to take a lower paid job. Your employer should have a published policy on Flexible Retirement which specifies the level of reduction in hours or pay they will accept. If in doubt you should contact your HR advisor before submitting an application.
What benefits are payable?
An early retirement benefit is calculated based on your membership up to the day your contract changes. You will be paid a tax free lump sum and a monthly pension from SYPA plus your revised pay from your employer based on your new working conditions. It is important to note that the benefits payable from SYPA will be less than the amount payable if you had not flexibly retired and may include an early payment reduction.
Does my employer have to accept my application?
No. Your employer needs to consider the cost to the pension scheme of letting you draw your pension early and also the effect that you either reducing your hours or taking a lower paid job will have on the service they provide.
Can I still contribute to the scheme after flexible retirement?
As you would be still working you will remain in the pension scheme and build up further benefits until you fully retire. When that time comes we will then pay you another pension but you should note that if your full retirement takes place before normal pension age this pension will be subject to an early retirement reduction.
I am interested in taking flexible retirement. What should I do to find out more?
First of all have a chat with your line manager or HR representative to find out how much of a reduction in pay or hours your employers policy on flexible retirement requires and whether they would consider an application from yourself. If flexible retirement is a possibility your employer should then approach us for a quote. Your employer will automatically be sent details of any early retirement costs that arise due to your flexible retirement in order to help them decide whether or not to accept your application, and you will receive a flexible retirement quote by letter to your home address.