If you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position, and you have your employer's permission, you may be able to start receiving your pension from the age of 55 even though you're still working. This is called flexible retirement and it's designed to help you ease into retirement.

You can still build up further pension benefits in your job on either lower hours or in a less senior role.

It's important to note that if you take flexible retirement before your normal retirement age, your benefits will normally be reduced as if you were retiring early, although any rule of 85 protection you have will still apply.

Each employer has its own rules (known as 'employer discretions') on when they will approve flexible retirement, so if you're interested, please contact them in the first instance. 

You may also wish to seek independent financial advice before committing to your application.

How to apply

To apply for flexible retirement you must contact your employer directly.

Successful applications

If your employer approves your application, based on either a reduction in hours or grade, they will send us a notification, and we will start to work out your pension. 

You will continue to pay Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) contributions to build up more pension, which you can take when you finally retire.

Tax implications

Once you start to receive your pension you need to be aware of possible tax implications, as you will be receiving multiple incomes from your LGPS pension and your salary from continuing your job on reduced hours or a lower grade.

Unsuccessful applications

If you're dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, you can appeal against the decision by writing to your employer, setting out the reasons why you disagree with the decision. Appeals must be made within 6 months of the date of the decision.

More information can be found on our complaints and appeals page.