Once you start receiving your pension we will contact you annually with details of your pension increase.

If you have not been in receipt of your pension for a full year, only a proportion of the annual increase is payable.

There is scope to retire and take your benefits from as young as age 55, right up to your normal pension age and even beyond. In cases of ill health, there is no MINIMUM age limit at all.

To be entitled to benefits you must have at least 2 years membership or have transferred other pension rights into the Scheme.

You can even have a gradual move into retirement - find out more about your retirement options below.

When can I retire?

Your normal pension age is linked to your State Pension Age (with a minimum of age 65). Your normal pension age is the age from which you can retire and receive your pension in full.

You can check your normal pension age by looking up your current State Pension Age here.

There are specific rules relating to each type of retirement and this section looks at the different retirement options, outlined below.

Preparing for retirement

If you're a scheme member planning to retire in the next 18 months or two years you can attend a Pre-Retirement Planning Course which is delivered over two half days via Zoom by Norfolk County Council's Learning and Development Team. 

The course, which is FREE covers:

  • Creating a new future and managing change
  • Making the most of your retirement, leisure and learning opportunities
  • Maintaining health and fitness
  • Information about the Norfolk Pension Fund
  • Investment options and where to get financial advice
  • Opportunities in the voluntary sector
Upcoming Pre-Retirement Course dates
  • Monday 8 & Monday 15 November 2021 (1.30pm - 4.30pm)
  • Thursday 20 & Friday 28 January 2022 (1.30pm - 4.30pm)
  • Thursday 10 & Thursday 17 March 2022 (1.30pm - 4.30pm)

For more details and to book your place, please contact HR Direct at Norfolk County Council on 01603 222212 or at [email protected]

Completing your retirement forms

We will contact you about a month before your retirement date (if we know in advance) and send you the necessary forms you need to complete.

You may also be asked to send in copies of your Birth Certificate or Passport.

For more help, please read our 'Guide to completing your Retirement Forms'.

Retirement options

Find out more about the retirement options available.

Retiring early

You can choose to retire early from age 55. If you choose to retire before your normal pension age your benefits are likely to be reduced because they will be paid earlier and for longer.

How much your benefits are reduced depends on how early you retire.

Please contact us if you want to talk about your individual situation.

Example

Stan is 64 when he decides to retire. His normal pension age is age 65.

His benefits are:

Pension = £4,000 a year

Lump sum = £11,500

As he is retiring 1 year early, his benefits are reduced.

The benefits he will actually be paid are:

Pension = £3,796 a year (a 5.1% reduction)

Lump sum = £11,235.50 (a 2.3% reduction)

Flexible retirement

From age 55, if you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position, you may be able to start receiving some or all of the pension benefits you have built up even though you are still working - helping you to ease into retirement. You can still build up further pension in the Scheme.

You must have your employer's permission for flexible retirement.

Will my pension be reduced if I take flexible retirement?

If you take flexible retirement before your normal pension age, your benefits may be reduced just as if you were retiring early.

If you are interested in flexible retirement please ask your employer what options they offer.

Early retirement through redundancy or business efficiency

If your employer makes you redundant or retires you in the interests of business efficiency and you are aged 55 or over, your pension will be paid immediately without reduction.

Ill health retirement

The Scheme offers protection to members who become too ill to work.

If you have to leave work at any age due to illness you may be able to have your pension paid immediately as long as you meet certain conditions.

What might my benefits be?

You may get your pension and any lump sum without any early retirement reductions, based on your current membership plus an enhancement as shown below.

How much enhancement depends on how likely you are to be able to carry out gainful employment in the future.

If you reduced your hours due to your ill health immediately prior to your ill health retirement your enhancement can be based on your situation before the reduction of hours.

The different levels of benefit are:

Tier 1 - No prospect of gainful employment either in short term or before normal pension age.

Your pension will be based on your current membership plus an enhancement to replace what you would have built up to your normal pension age, if you had stayed in the Scheme until then.

Tier 2 - No prospect of gainful employment in short term but prospect of gainful employment before your normal pension age.

Your pension will be based on your current membership plus 25% of the enhancement to replace what you would have built up to your normal pension age, as if you had stayed in the Scheme until then.

Tier 3 - Prospect of gainful employment within three years of leaving.

Your pension will be based on your current membership only. Your pension will only be paid for a limited time, and will be reviewed after 18 months.

Examples of ill health retirement

Example 1

Lisa is about to be retired on ill health.

She is aged 45, so has 22 years left to her normal pension age (currently age 67).

There is NO prospect for her obtaining gainful employment before normal pension age. She is therefore being retired under Tier 1 conditions.

Her benefits will be based on any membership prior to 1 April 2014 plus the value in her pension account with an enhancement to replace the pension she would have built up by age 67.

Example 2

Donna is about to be retired on ill health. She is aged 45, so has 22 years left to her normal pension age (currently age 67).

There is NO prospect for her of gainful employment in the short term, but there IS a prospect of gainful employment before her normal pension age.

She is therefore being retired under Tier 2 conditions.

In this case her enhancement is 25% of the membership she would have built up by age 67.

Current membership: 20 years

Membership she would have built up to age 67 had she continued working x 25%: 5.5 years

Retiring after your normal pension age

If you keep working after your normal pension age you will continue to pay into the Scheme, building up further pension.

You can take your pension when:

  • you retire, or

  • you reach the eve of your 75th birthday, or

  • you have your employer's permission for flexible retirement, whichever occurs first.

If you take your benefits after your normal pension age, in addition to the extra membership you build up in the Scheme, your pension built can be increased because it is starting later than expected.

Taking a lump sum

When you retire, you can take part of your pension as a lump sum.

This is normally paid tax free.

  • If you were a member of the Scheme before 1 April 2008 you are automatically provided with a lump sum.
  • If you joined after 1 April 2008 the Scheme no longer provides an automatic lump sum, but you can give up some of your pension for a lump sum.

If you want to take a lump sum or increase the size of your lump sum you have to give up £1 of pension to earn lump sum of £12

Example

When Jane retires she has built up the following benefits:

Pension = £6,667 a year

If Jane wants to take a £20,000 lump sum she will need to give up £1,667 of her pension.

Lump sum ÷ 12 = amount of pension you need to give up.

Her benefits will be:

Pension = £5,000 a year, Lump sum = £20,004

Please note

You must tell us if you want to give up pension for lump sum before you retire.

How are my benefits worked out?

For service from 1st April 2014

Any pension built up in the scheme from 1st April 2014 will be on a Career Average Revalued Earnings (or CARE) basis. Visit "How a CARE scheme works" to find out more.

From 1 April 2014 you will build up a pension of 1/49th of your pensionable pay each Scheme Year and this will be added to your Pension Account.

The amount of pension in your Pension Account will be re-valued every year to keep it in line with the cost of living - currently measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

If you have more than one job in the LGPS, then you will have more than one Pension Account - one for each of your jobs.

For any period you are in the 50/50 section the pension you build up will be half your normal rate.

For Service from 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2014

Any pension built up before 1st April 2014 is worked out using your final pay and your membership.

If you joined the Scheme for the first time on or after 1 April 2008, your benefits are worked out as:

Pension = final pay x membership ÷ 60

You can take part of your pension as a tax free lump sum, but you will have to give up some of your pension for this.

For Service before 1st April 2008

Any pension built up before 1st April 2014 is worked out using your final pay and your membership.

If you have membership before 1 April 2008, the benefits you earned before 1 April 2008 are worked out as:

Pension = final pay x membership ÷ 80

Lump sum = pension x 3

You can choose to give up some of your pension for a bigger lump sum.

If you have membership both before and after 1 April 2008 the two amounts of pension and tax free lump sum will then be added together to give you your total benefits.

Example of how my benefits are worked out if I work full time

Bob earns £20,000 a year as at April 2014.

Bob has built up 20 years membership before 1 April 2014 and will build up another 7 years membership in the Scheme before he retires.

For membership from 1 April 2014:

Year Pensionable pay Pension earned Brought forward Revalued value
2014/15 £20,000 £408.16 £0 £413.06
2015/16 £20,400 £416.33 £413.06 £828.56
2016/17 £20,808 £424.65 £828.56 £1,265.75
2017/18 £21,224 £433.14 £1,265.75 £1,749.85
2018/19 £21,648 £441.80 £1,749.85 £2,244.25
2019/20 £22,081 £450.63 £2,244.25 £2,740.69
2020/21 £22,523 £459.65 £2,470.69 £3,200.34

 

The ‘Revalued value’ column is based on actual revaluation for financial years from 2014/15 to 2019/20. It is assumed that his pay will increase each year by 2% throughout.

So the pension for the period from 1 April 2014 to 1 April 2021 is £3,200.34 a year.

Membership between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014:

Pension = final pay x membership x 1/60

Pension = £22,523 x 6 ÷ 60 = £2,252.30 a year

For membership before 1 April 2008:

Pension = final pay x membership x 1/80

Pension = £22,523 x 14 ÷ 80 = £3,941.53 a year

Lump sum = £3,941.53 x 3 = £11,824.59

So Bob's total benefit will be:

Pension = £9,394.17 a year (£3,200.34 + £2,252.30 + £3,941.53)

Lump sum = £11,824.59

Bob can also choose to give up some of his pension for an even bigger lump sum.

Example of how my benefits are worked out if I work part time

Sue works part time and earns £10,000 a year, as at April 2014, her full time equivalent pay is £20,000.

She has worked for 20 years before 1 April 2014 and will work for another 7 years before she retires.

Sue has always worked half the hours of a full time colleague and so her membership used to work out her retirement benefits will be 7 years before 1 April 2008 and 3 years after 1 April 2008.

For membership from 1 April 2014:

Year Pensionable pay Pension earned  Brought forward Revalued value
2014/15 £10,000 £204.08 £0 £206.53
2015/16 £10,200 £208.16 £206.53 £414.28
2016/17 £10,404 £212.33 £414.28 £632.87
2017/18 £10,612 £216.57 £632.87 £874.93
2018/19 £10,824 £220.90 £874.93 £1,122.12
2019/20 £11,040 £225.31 £1,122.12 £1,347.43
2020/21 £11,261 £229.82 £1,347.43 £1.600.15
For the membership before 1 April 2008:

Pension = final pay (full time equivalent) x membership (proportionate to part time hours) x 1/80

Pension = £22,523 (full time equivalent) x 7 ÷ 80 = £1,970.76 a year

Lump sum = yearly pension x 3

Lump sum = £1,970.76 x 3 = £5,912.29

So Sue's total benefit will be:

Pension = £4,697.07 a year (£1,600.15 + £1,970.76 + £1,126.15)

Lump sum = £5,912.29

Sue can also choose to give up some of her pension for an even bigger lump sum.

 

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