When can I retire?

You can voluntarily retire at any age on or after your 60th birthday but your benefits may be reduced for early payment.  You can request retirement from age 55 but you will require your employer's permission and again your benefits will be reduction unless they are paid for ill health or redundancy.

Your Normal Pension Age is simply the age when you can retire and take the pension you have built up in full – for the pension built up from 1 April 2015 your Normal Pension Age is the same as your State Pension Age (but with a minimum of age 65). If you choose to take your pension before your Normal Pension Age it will normally be reduced, as it’s being paid earlier. If you take it later than your Normal Pension Age it’s increased because it’s being paid later.  

The amount of any reduction or increase will be based on how many years earlier or later than your Normal Pension Age you draw your benefits.  

You can find out what your State Pension Age is by using the Government's State Pension Age Calculator.

Reduction factors apply when you take your pension before your Normal Pension Age. (Subject to Rule of 85 protections if you have meet the criteria.  The Rule of 85 protection protects some or all of your benefits from the normal early payment reduction.)


Years Early Pension Male Pension Female
Lump Sum
(for membership
to 31 March 2009)
1 6% 6% 3%
2 11% 11% 6%
3 16% 15% 8%
4 21% 20% 11%
5 25% 24% 14%
6 29% 28% 16%
7 33% 31% 19%
8 36% 35% 21%
9 39% 38% 23%
10 42% 41% 26%


If you draw your pension at your Normal Pension Age there is no reduction applied.

The above table shows the reduction that would be applied depending on the number of years before your Normal Pension Age you decide to draw your pension.

What about the pension built up before April 2015

Any pension you have built up before 1 April 2015 is fully protected. This includes a protected Normal Pension Age of age 65 (except for a very small number of members with an earlier protected age of 60) for payment of those benefits.

Please note you cannot take your benefits built up to April 2015 separately from the benefits you build up from April 2015. All of your pension would have to be drawn at the same time if retiring voluntarily. Also ‘Rule of 85’ protections, which some members have, will continue to apply in the new scheme. Please see the section, ‘Paying in before April 2015’ for more information on protections.