Retirement Options FAQs

Can I still work the same hours and access my pension flexibly?

No.  You will be expected to reduce your working hours in order to access some, or all of your pension. For USS members you will need to reduce by at least 0.2 FTE and 0.1 FTE for NHS members.

Do I need to get my department to agree to my request for flexible or partial retirement?

Yes. You will need the approval of your department as your terms and conditions of employment will change.

If I flexibly/partially retire can my contract be extended after the three-year period?

No.  Your contract will not be automatically renewed after the three year period. 

Can I flexibly retire and then do partial retirement and return to work?

No.  You will not normally be re-employed at the end of your contract into the same role.  However, if there are vacancies at the College you wish to apply for you can.

Can I do partial retirement and then flexibly access pension when I return to work?

Yes, you can do this but must still fully retire within the three year period.

Can I flexibly access pension if I’ve opted-out of the pension scheme?

For NHS pension scheme members you must be an active member of the scheme.  For USS members you can still flexibly access pension if you have opted-out.

When should I complete my partial/flexible retirement form?

Your completed form must be sent to the HR Staff Hub for processing at least three months before you plan to access pension.  The sooner you start to talk about your plans with your Line Manager the better. 

If I reduce my working hours to access pension, can I then increase them afterwards?

Flexibly accessing your pension is the start of the journey into retirement.  Therefore, we would not normally agree to you increasing your working hours again. However, we recognise that this might suit both you and the College in some circumstances but, pension scheme rules would not permit this until a year has passed after drawing pension.

I have a National Clinical Impact Award (NCIA) (previously known as Clinical Excellence Awards). Will this be affected if I partially/flexibly retire?

They shouldn’t be affected, however, the ACCIA must be notified before claiming your pension.  They will confirm whether the award will be retained, and at what level.

I'm in the NHS pension scheme, can I choose which part of my pension I wish to access e.g. 1995/2008/2015?

Yes.  You can chose to draw some or all of either your 1995/2008/2015 pension and have flexibility to pick and chose.

If I partially retire and return on a new contract of employment, will I join the pension scheme again?

Yes, the College will auto enrol you again into a pension scheme as long as you are under your state pension age and earn more than £833 per month. If you don’t meet the automatic eligibility criteria you can still ask to join a pension scheme if you wish.