Retirement

Please note that this section is for members retiring from active membership only, and applies to members who joined the scheme before 1 October 2017.

Scheme Retirement Date (SRD)

We use your SRD to calculate your benefits, in particular whether you are claiming your benefits early or late. You do not have to retire at your SRD. Your employment retirement date is a matter between you and your employer. The University’s policy for support staff can be found here.

Your SRD is defined as follows:

  • if you were born before 1 January 1948 it is 31 December 2012;
  • if not, it is the later of age 65 and your state pension age in whole years;
  • for benefits in the final salary section it is age 65.

You can work out your state pension age by using the Government's state pension calculator.

When you can retire

If you joined OSPS before 1 August 2004, you can claim benefits from aged 50. Your benefits would not be reduced after aged 60.

If you joined OSPS between 1 August 2004 and 5 April 2006, you can claim benefits from aged 50. Your benefits would not be reduced after aged 65 for those on the Final Salary scheme. For those on CARE, your benefits would not be reduced after your SRD. 

If you joined OSPS on or after 6 April 2006, you can claim benefits from aged 55. Your benefits would not be reduced after aged 65 for those on the Final Salary scheme. For those on CARE, your benefits would not be reduced after your SRD. 

Please note that this does not apply to additional benefits bought through Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) or to Transfers in.

Benefits transferred in after 1 August 2004 are not paid in full until age 65 for Final Salary members, or until SRD for CARE members.

Please see the Paying Extra section for more details on AVCs.

Early and late retirement

If you take your benefits before the date they are due in full (this may vary for different elements), then we will reduce them by an early retirement factor. For example, if you retire five years early the reduction is currently 18%.

If you take your benefits after the date they are due in full (this may vary), then we will enhance them by a late retirement factor. Currently this is 4.5% for each year you take the benefits late.

For more information, please contact the Pensions Office.

Retirement process

Please note that, unless you are taking flexible retirement, you cannot claim your benefits until you have left the service of your employer.

The retirement process is as follows:

  • you give your notice in to your employer;
  • your employer sends us the Advance Notification of Retirement (RET1)(U) (25kb) for the University, or RE1(A) for colleages as soon as possible;
  • not more than three months in advance we will send you a statement giving your options and enclosing forms for you to complete;
  • if we have received correctly completed forms we will set up payment of your benefits for your retirement date.

Benefits options

On your retirement statement we will give you three options:

  • standard pension and cash
  • maximum cash
  • no cash

You can also ask for figures for specific pension and cash figures subject to the maximum limits.

If you have money-purchase benefits in the scheme, either as Prudential AVCs or the OSPS bonus, we will include these in your statement. You do have the option to take these benefits separately.

Payment of benefits

We will send you a cheque for your lump sum (if any) to your home address on the first working day after your retirement date.

Your pension will be paid through the University payroll. The payment date is the last but one working day of each month.

Flexible retirement

If your employer agrees, you can reduce your hours by 20% or more and then claim 20% to 80% of your payable benefits at the same time.

If you work for the University, the department should follow the procedure given on the Personnel website and send us the appropriate forms.

If you work for a college they should have their own procedure, but you may find the information for University staff useful. If the college agrees they should send us form RET1(A) giving the requested information.

Ill health retirement

If you are too ill to do your current job or a financially comparable job until your SRD then you can apply to the trustees for an enhanced pension.

The process is as follows:

  1. contact the Pensions Office for an application form;
  2. return the form to the Pensions Office giving details of a GP and consultant willing to provide medical evidence;
  3. we will contact your employer for your job description and confirmation that they support your application;
  4. we will obtain medical reports from your doctors and put your case to the trustees;
  5. finally we will let you and your employer know the decision.

If the application is agreed, you then need to follow the normal retirement process.

If your life expectancy is less than one year you might be able to claim your benefits as a single lump sum. This is called serious ill health commutation.