We understand that there are important decisions that need to be made around how and when you retire.
If you are thinking about retiring, our video and the information below tell you more about the process.
It's good to think ahead, as you will have some decisions to make. You will need to decide on the date you want to retire and what benefits you want to take.
To help you, you can find out about the pension benefits you have built up so far by logging into your My Pension account. You can use the calculator in your My Pension account to work out what you will get on your planned retirement date. And you can also speak to your employer, who can give you more information about what steps you need to take.
The retirement process has a number of stages:
You don’t need to. If you are intending to retire and want to claim your pension, simply notify your employer. Please check directly with your employer to find out how much notice they require. They will then send us the notification and information we need.
Your employer will provide us with your pay figures up to your last day of work, as we don’t have direct access to your pay information. Unfortunately, we are unable to get this information directly from you.
We check the information for accuracy. If we find any inconsistencies, we query them with your employer and in some cases request further information. This can cause a slight delay while we resolve the query.
Once we are happy with the information we will produce a retirement pack for you. You will be able to access your retirement pack in your My Pension account. We will write to you to inform you your retirement pack is available however you may notice your pack on your account before your letter arrives. If you have elected for paper communications we will send you a paper copy of your pack.
Your retirement pack will contain full details of how your pension has been calculated with two quotes:
- One quote will show the maximum pension you could receive.
- The other shows the maximum lump sum you can take.
We aim to process the information and produce your retirement pack within ten working days of receiving the information we need from your employer.
Once you receive your retirement pack you will need to complete the member’s retirement form (P71m) and send it back to us. You can upload it quickly and securely (along with any additional documentation), through the 'Document upload' area of your My Pension account. Further guidance on how to complete the form will be provided within your pack. Please note we need to see evidence of your date of birth.
We check that the form has been completed correctly and proof of date of birth has been received. We will ask you to complete and resubmit any incomplete forms. Any incomplete paper forms will be returned to you.
Finally your pension is put into payment according to the election you have made.
We aim to pay any lump sum as soon as possible following your retirement date. However, if you have an AVC that you have been contributing to up to your last working day, it may delay payment of your pension as we have to wait for all the payments to be passed from your employer to our AVC provider, and for them to disinvest your money.
- Your pension payment will be the last working day each month. It is treated as income and is therefore taxable.
- We cannot pay any part of your pension before your retirement date even if we have all the information we need.
- If you exceed your lifetime allowance and/or annual allowance there may be tax implications that need to be dealt with before we can put your pension into payment.
- We return any original documents using the same method we received them, for example if we receive it via recorded delivery we will return it the same way.
- We do not return photocopied documents unless specifically requested.