If you are a member of one of the University’s occupational pension schemes you
may access general information about retirement from Human Resources
Pensions (please see section 6.0 below for contact details.)
An employee who decides to retire is required to resign from their post, providing
the notice specified in their contract of employment in the normal way. If the
employee wishes to draw on their pension when they retire, they need to contact
the University pensions team on [email protected] Three months
should be allowed for processing the pension arrangements.
It is helpful to understand the intention of employees as far as is possible to
enable the University to undertake workforce planning, and to assist employees
in their planning process. The University will continue to discuss with all
employees irrespective of age their short, medium and longer term career
The University therefore encourages employees to engage in open and
transparent discussions as early as possible in their planning process for
retirement with their appropriate manager.
It is acknowledged that individual intentions to retire can change due to variety of
personal circumstances, and individuals are reassured that such informal
discussions will only be progressed formally once notice to resign has been
Information on ill-health retirements is included in the University’s Sickness
Management Policy available from
It is recognised that employees at whatever stage of their working life may wish
to change their working pattern to suit their individual circumstances. It may
therefore be possible to agree a flexible working approach whether or not this is
intended to lead directly towards a full retirement.
Should an employee wish to work more flexibly (e.g. reduced hours) then that
request would be considered as a flexible working request (Flexible Working
Guidelines can be found on the HR website).
A meeting to discuss retirement could however include a discussion around
flexible working as it may be helpful to consider the different options available
and how appropriate these might be to the department and the individual at the
same time.
Employees approaching retirement may wish to investigate how certain options
may affect their retirement benefits. Any retirement benefit queries should be
referred to Human Resources Pensions at [email protected]
Additional information is available on the HR website and in the retirement
Frequently Asked Questions.
For those at Professorial/Reader level there is the opportunity to seek emeritus
status on retirement. A request should be submitted by the Head of Department
at least one term prior to their intended retirement date. Further information is
available from Human Resources.
There is a retired staff association which is open to all staff who have held
appointments at the University and are now retired. Partners of retired staff may
also join. Further information is available on the website at:
Further information is available from or from your link HR Adviser.
If you require further guidance in respect of pensions, information is available
If you require this publication in hard copy or in an alternative format please
contact HR.
The Equality and Diversity Committee will review and amend the Retirement
Guidelines in line with any legislative changes.
Employees who are USS members and over 55 are able to draw a proportion of
benefits whilst remaining an active member of the scheme, and remaining in the
same role.
The University will consider each case on its merits and will not unreasonably
withhold permission for a member to reduce hours and elect to take part payment
of their accrued benefits, subject to the operational requirements of the
University; the University will not waive the actuarial reduction of such an
Flexible retirement is subject to agreement by the University and will be
considered in line with the University’s Flexible Working guidelines.
To be eligible an employee must be a member of USS and aged 55 or above,
and have ‘qualifying service’ which is normally a period of at least two years’
pensionable service, and must not be a multiple appointment holder.
The benefits to be drawn may be between 20% and 80% of the member’s total
pension and lump sum at the date of flexible retirement (benefits will be
actuarially reduced to the extent that they are payable before the members
normal pension age). The University will not waive nor otherwise compensate
flexible retirees for any actuarial reduction arising from flexible retirement.
Members can obtain an estimate for flexible retirement from the calculator on the
USS website at the address below:
In line with the USS rules the employee’s working hours must be reduced by a
minimum of 20% at each request for no less than 12 months. A maximum of two
contractual reductions is permitted, up to the 80% maximum. Any further
amendment would require the member of staff to fully retire from their post.
In practice, up to six months may be required for the completion of the process
for a flexible retirement request to allow for initial quotes and discussions to take
place prior to any final notification to USS. USS will issue full calculations once
the request has been approved by the University.
The employee will be required to gain written consent from the University for
flexible retirement. The University will consider each case on its merits and in line
with the University’s Flexible Working guidelines. The University will not
unreasonably withhold permission for a member of staff to reduce hours, and
elect to take part payment of their accrued benefits, subject to the operational
requirements of the University.
Once the flexible retirement request has been approved by the University the
employee will have a maximum of four weeks to decide if they wish to progress
with the flexible retirement. USS requires a minimum of two months’ written
notice of the employee’s flexible retirement date.
Employees should also be aware that where a request for flexible retirement is
agreed and implemented there is no automatic right to increase their hours at any
point in the future, or decrease their hours further, regardless of the provision
within the USS rules. However, this will not prevent a further request being made
and is subject to the agreement of the University
Longer term planning: where an employee makes an approach to their manager
to request flexible retirement it is reasonable for the manager to ask the
employee about their longer term plans so that they can plan for any further
reduction in hours and also for the time when the employee plans to fully retire.
As part of the annual review process it is expected that reviewers will ask all their
reviewees about their short, medium and long term plans.
Further information is available on the USS website at the address below: