University employees belong to a number of different pension schemes, and should take advice on the options available in their particular circumstances. Specific references are made below to the USS pension scheme as this is the main pension scheme for academic and related staff at the University.
Elect to retire: Employees may choose to retire at, or at any time after, the minimum pension age stipulated in the rules of their pension scheme. For staff in the USS pension scheme, the normal pension age is currently 66. From 66, all eligible USS members are entitled to take their pension benefits and retire from the University. However, academic staff and academic-related staff at grade RSIV and equivalents (E62 and E82) can choose to continue working at the University until they reach the EJRA. Please be aware that the normal pension age will rise in the future, broadly in line with increases to the State Pension age.
Early retirement: Employees may apply to retire before the normal pension age. This is known as ‘early retirement’. For USS members, the 55th birthday is generally the earliest age at which a member of USS may apply to take their pension and retire. Early retirement usually entails receiving a reduced pension – the benefits are actuarially reduced by an amount that depends on how long before the normal pension age the pension is taken.
Flexible retirement: USS offers a flexible retirement option to members aged 55 or over. This is where a member of staff continues to work, but takes a reduction in salary, for example by working reduced hours, in exchange for payment of a portion of their pension. This mix of work and pension can offer an attractive way of tapering towards eventual full retirement.
Ill health retirement: Departments wishing to explore this option with a member of staff should contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.
Retire at the EJRA: Academic staff and academic-related staff at grade RSIV and clinical equivalents will be retired by the University when they reach the Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA). The EJRA is currently set at the 30 September preceding an employee’s 69th birthday, rising to the 30 September preceding the 70th birthday with effect from 1 October 2023.
Request an EJRA extension: Employees nearing their EJRA date can request an extension to continue working beyond the EJRA. For details on how to seek extended employment beyond the EJRA, please view the full EJRA Procedure.
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