This page is currently being reviewed and may read a little differently from other pages on our website. We're working on this and it will be updated very soon.

Introduction

The Scheme provides a number of options for members who leave the Scheme before reaching the Schemes normal pension age. The options available depend on your age and the length of your pensionable service.

Options for members below the minimum pension age

If you have not reached the Scheme’s minimum pension age of 50 you are entitled to either a refund of contributions or a preserved pension, depending on your length of service in the Scheme. Preserved pensions are payable at age 60 (or earlier with reduction).

All members will also have the option of transferring their benefits to another pension arrangement.

The following table summarises these options.

Option if under 50

Less than 2 years qualifying service when you leave

At least 2 years' qualifying service when you leave

Refund of contributions, less tax and National Insurance contributions

Yes, if under 60 No

Leave your benefits in the Scheme and take a preserved pension

No Yes

Transfer your benefits to another pension arrangement

Yes Yes

Options for members over the minimum pension age

If you have less than 2 years qualifying service in the Scheme you are entitled to a refund of contributions. If you have more than 2 years qualifying service you may choose to have a preserved pension payable at age 60 (or earlier with reduction), a transfer to another pension arrangement or you may have your pension paid early.

If you choose to have your pension and lump sum paid early, they will be reduced to allow for the fact that they are being paid earlier than expected. Your dependants will still get any benefits that they are entitled to in full.

Option if over 50

Less than 2 years qualifying service when you leave

At least 2 years qualifying service when you leave

Refund of contributions, less tax and National Insurance contributions

Yes, if under 60 No

Leave your benefits in the Scheme and take a preserved pension

No Yes

Transfer your benefits to another pension arrangement

Yes Yes

Voluntary Early Retirement (own choice)

No Yes. Pension and lump sum reduced

Voluntary Early Retirement with employers consent

No Yes. No reduction to your benefits.

Additional Pension Savings

If you have additional pension savings that are linked to the Scheme you will have to stop paying into these when you leave. You will have to decide what to do with these savings. In most circumstances these will be treated the same way as your Scheme benefits but you may be able to treat them differently, for example, you could choose to have your Scheme benefits paid early and decide to leave your AVCs invested until you reach age 60.

Making your decision

If you wish to apply for early retirement you can do this on a form available from your employer.

If you are entitled to a refund or a transfer the SPPA will tell you about your choices.

If you are entitled to a preserved pension the SPPA will send you a statement of your benefits after they have received confirmation of your leave date and pay details from your employer.

Questions

If you have a specific question that is not answered by the information above, please contact the team by phone (01896 893090) or email.

Was this information useful?
1 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.