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FAQ's

Approaching retirement age

Q: What is the retirement age?

A: As a result in changes in legislation, there is no longer a standard age for retirement from employment.  You have a normal retirement age for pension scheme purposes only, which is currently 65 for most employees.

Q: I’m approaching retirement age, will HR contact me to find out my retirement intentions? And is this process university wide?

A: No, Human Resources will not contact you as there is no standard retirement age and everyone will have a different plan.  It is up to you to initiate the discussion about your retirement plans.

Q: I’m approaching age 65 and thinking about retiring.  How much notice do I have to give if I wish to retire?

A: The amount of notice you have to give is in line with your contract of employment.  If you are on a fixed term contract then your date will be less flexible than being on a permanent contact of employment.

Q: I am thinking about retiring, what steps do I need to take?

A: The main steps are to first to discuss the options with your line manager.  Then you should make contact with HR to clarify your contractual obligations.  You should also speak to the Pensions Office to discuss your pension payment options.

Q: Can I retire at any age?

A: Please refer to the first question.

Q: Is it possible to phase my retirement?

A: Yes, this is possible.  Please refer to the University’s  Flexible Working Policy and Retirement Options Guidelines

Q: I’m approaching retirement age. Is it possible to change my contract such as a reduction in hours?

A: Yes, this may be possible.  Please refer to the University’s  Flexible Working Policy and Retirement Options Guidelines

Q: How is my pension affected if I reduce my hours during my final year of work?

A: Benefits earned before any reduction in hours are not affected. Your future build up of pension benefits will be smaller as a result of the reduction in your contract/earnings.

Q: How can I save more in the years running up to retirement to increase my pension?

A: All the University pension schemes allow extra saving via Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) or The Investment Builder in USS.  Full details can be found by selecting the appropriate pension scheme from this page: Pension Schemes

Q: How do I work out the level of my tax free allowance?

A: You should visit www.hmrc.gov.uk

Q: 6 days are given to attend courses/prepare for retirement. Is this pro rata for part time workers?

A: A member of staff who retires will be able to take pre-retirement leave in the 12 months leading up to their retirement.  There are further conditions attached to this which can be viewed in your Terms and Conditions of Employment

Q: If I have an AVC how do I weigh up taking the cash against buying an annuity – what are the principles?

A: The University is not permitted to answer any questions relating to personal financial decisions – these concerns should be raised with an independent financial advisor

Q: Can I still work at the University after I start receiving my pension?

A: Yes, you can apply for jobs as advertised through the standard recruitment avenues, but there must be a one month gap between you retiring and claiming your pension and taking up a new role.

Q: If I am reducing my hours, can I claim some of my benefits?

A: Flexible retirement permits you to draw some of your earned benefits.  Please refer to Flexible Working Policy and Retirement Options Guidelines 

Q:I do not have a pension with the University – what are my options?

A: Staff Learning and Development offer a course entitled ‘Pre Retirement Course (TE02)’ which will offer some details on this.  www.ageuk.org.uk also has some useful resources and advice relating to this.

After retirement age

Q: Retirement can come as a shock, especially if abrupt.  Is there a post-retirement support group?

A: Staff Learning and Development offer a course entitled ‘Pre Retirement Course (TE02)’ which will offer some details on this.  Other resources include www.ageuk.org.uk

Q: What are the pension implications of working beyond the age of 65?

A: Please refer to the Retirement Options Guidelines, but by working you will continue to build up pension benefits.

Q: Do I continue to pay into my pension scheme if I work beyond retirement age?

A: Yes, this is possible. Please refer to the Retirement Options Guidelines