Flexible retirement is a scheme that allows employees, with University approval, to achieve a mix of retirement and continuity at work. The employee reduces their work and gives up part of their salary in exchange for part payment of their pension benefits.
For the employee, the benefits can include an improved work-life balance or freeing up time for caring or other responsibilities without taking the full financial penalty that can come with going part-time or leaving work altogether. It is also a way of tapering towards eventual full retirement rather than facing the ‘cliff edge’ of going straight from full-time work to full-time retirement.
For the department, flexible retirement offers a means of retaining key staff who might otherwise be lost to full retirement and of smoothing transitions and succession planning. It may also be a feature of managing EJRA requests where a department and the employee would like the employee to continue beyond the EJRA in part, but not all, of their previous role.
Flexible retirement is available to members of University Superannuation Scheme (USS) and the Oxford Staff Pension Scheme (OSPS) defined benefit section. (The scheme applies differently to members of the OSPS defined contribution scheme, please contact the Pensions team for information). These guidelines are based on the detailed rules applicable to those schemes.
Note: if the staff member holds a work visa, a change in hours or role may well require a fresh application for a work visa to be made. Tier 2 work visa holders who are considering flexible retirement must consult the Staff Immigration Team at the earliest opportunity.