Partial Retirement FAQs

What happens if I do not wish to take all of my benefits at partial retirement?

When you partially retire, you can choose to take a proportion of the benefits you have built up. Your quotation will show the maximum amount you can take. We will apply the chosen proportion across all of your benefits.

Any benefits not used at partial retirement (and those you accrue after the date you partially retire) can be claimed when you finally retire.

What is abatement?

If you partially retire, we may abate (reduce or stop) your pension. We will do this if the combined total amount of your pension and partial retirement earnings (re-shaped earnings) is greater than your salary of reference. This guide contains more information about abatement

 Abatement does not apply to:

  • alpha scheme benefits
  • members who are over 75 years of age.

What is my ‘salary of reference’?

We use this to calculate your benefits when you partially retire. It is usually your actual pensionable earnings in the 12 months before your retirement date.

Will my quotation show the abated pension figure?

Your quotation will not show the abated figure. However, you can use the partial retirement calculator on our website to find out if your pension will be subject to abatement or not. 

What is a WPS refund?

If you are a member of the classic or classic plus scheme you will have paid Widow’s/Widower’s Pension Scheme (WPS) contributions during your service in order to make provision for a widow or widower in the event of your death.

If you are currently single, divorced or widowed and remain so through to your final retirement, you will receive a refund of the WPS contributions you paid for the period that you were not married (up to 30 September 2002 for classic plus).  

The “Your classic pension benefits explained” and “Your classic plus pension benefits explained” booklets contain further information about WPS refunds.

When will I receive my Widowers Pension Scheme (WPS) refund?

When you finally leave and take your pension, we will pay this to you as an additional lump sum. Please note: a WPS refunds counts towards the maximum limits of tax-free lump sum you can receive set by HMRC.

HMRC have set a limit on the amount of tax-free lump sum you can receive. If the total amount of lump sum you receive exceeds the limit, we are required to convert part of the lump sum to pension. We call this ‘Inverse commutation’.  You can find more information about the tax-free limit on the HMRC’s website.         

What happens to my pension benefits when I finally retire?

When you take final retirement, we will calculate your benefits from the first day after your partial retirement to your last day of service. This includes any benefits you did not take when you partially retired (see FAQ 'What is abatement?). We will notify you of the benefits payable and will lift any abatement of your partial pension.

What happens if I choose to further downgrade or reduce my hours?

Your employer must notify us if you choose to further downgrade or reduce your hours.  The benefits we have previously calculated for you will not change, however we will review any abatement applied to your pension and if it changes, we will notify you.

Under the scheme rules, you can only partially retire once. Please read this guide for further information about partial retirement.