VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to set out LJMU’s approach to the retirement of its staff.
This policy took effect from 6 April 2011. It should be noted, however, that the statutory procedure
under the default retirement age provisions will still be used to retire staff who reach the age of 65
years on or before 30 September 2011, provided that they were notified of the retirement on or before
5 April 2011.
The University does not operate a compulsory retirement age for its staff from 6 April 2011.
The University is committed to equal opportunities for all members of its staff. The University
recognises the contributions of a diverse workforce, including the skills and experience of older
members of staff. It believes that staff should, wherever possible, be permitted to continue or cease
working at a time that suits them and their circumstances. Accordingly the University operates a
voluntary retirement policy which enables staff members to retire at a time of their choosing.
If a member of staff has decided that they wish to retire, they should inform their line manager in
writing as far in advance as possible* (using the Intention to Retire/Continue in Employment Form)
and, in any event, in accordance with notice period as set out in their contract of employment. This
will assist the University with its succession planning.
The Human Resources Adviser will write to the individual acknowledging their notice to retire.
*please note that should they wish to draw their pension benefits, 3 months notification is required in
order to avoid delays in putting their pension benefits into payment.
The line manager will arrange a meeting with the individual to discuss arrangements for retirement,
including the intended retirement date, succession and handover plans, pension details and phased
retirement, if applicable. The line manager should seek approval from their Dean/Pro Vice Chancellor
(PVC) before finalising arrangements.
The University runs one day pre-retirement courses for those staff who are interested in retiring within
the next 3 to 5 years. These courses are normally held twice a year in January and June. Details of
forthcoming events are posted on News Update or individuals can register an interest to attend the
next available course by contacting the Pensions Manager.
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Individuals should consider their pension provision and take independent financial advice before
making any decision in relation to retirement.
The University will invite all members of staff to regular workplace discussions with their line
managers. These will normally take place once, sometimes twice, a year, when personal
development and performance reviews (PDPR) are carried out. During those discussions, the
relevant line manager will discuss the individual’s performance, developmental or training needs and
the University’s and the individual’s future plans and expectations in the short, medium and long-term.
During those meetings, individuals may discuss their future plans or proposals for retirement and
should certainly do so from the point at which they are seriously considering retirement.
A record of each PDPR/workplace discussion should be signed off by both parties and kept securely
for future reference.
A discussion about possible retirement will not result in the University making any assumptions about
the individual’s commitment to the University. Neither are staff expected to continue to work past the
state pension age though they can choose to do so. Workplace discussions are an informal
opportunity for both the University and its staff to plan jointly for the future.
A member of staff who is shortly to retire will often have considerable knowledge in relation to their
role and responsibilities. The University may require the individual’s assistance and co-operation for
Prior to retirement, individuals should co-operate with the University, if requested to do so, by:
providing full written details of the status of work projects and future steps;
developing a job description, including key competencies and skills required for the role;
ensuring a smooth handover of work; and
assisting in training any successor.
Staff can access their pension (TPS, USS & LGPS) any time from the age of 60 years (55 in some
circumstances) although, depending on the rules of the pension scheme, it may be reduced for early
Staff aged 65 or over who are members of either TPS, USS & LGPS will remain entitled to the
benefits of the scheme, in accordance with its rules. Further details are available from the Pensions
Individuals who are members of TPS, USS or LGPS and who have decided to retire on a specific date
may request a pension illustration from the Pensions Manager. In order to claim their pension the
individual should complete an application form 3 months before the date they wish to retire to allow
the pension scheme administrators’ sufficient time to calculate their benefits and to pay them at the
point of retirement.
Easing into retirement
If an individual has notified the University that they wish to retire, their line manager will discuss the
possibility of easing into retirement with them.
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An individual may decide that they do not wish to retire in the near future but would benefit from
alternative working arrangements in the short or medium term. These individuals may make a request
to their line manager to change their working arrangements so that they can reduce their hours
gradually (for example, move to part-time working) prior to retirement. It may, for example, involve
changes to the individual’s responsibilities to help the University with its succession planning, and
help the individual to adjust to, and prepare for, retirement.
The line manager in consultation with their Dean/PVC and Human Resources Advisor will consider
fairly all requests by those individuals for changes to their working patterns, following the principles in
the Flexible Working Procedure when considering any such requests.
The line manager will not make any changes to an individual’s working pattern without their express
A reduction in working hours may result in a reduction in salary and pension contributions to the
individual’s occupational pension scheme. Members of staff should check their pension arrangements
before making any decision on this.
Members of staff are under no obligation to change their working arrangements. However, in certain
circumstances, this may be beneficial for both the University and the individual. Full details of the
scheme are available from your HR Adviser and/or Pensions Manager.
Phased retirement (TPS)/Flexible retirement (LGPS) – drawing pension benefits while
continuing in service
Local Government Pension Scheme
With the University’s consent, the Local Government Pension Scheme regulations allow
scheme members to take “flexible retirement”. This means that a scheme member at or after
age 55 years who reduces the hours they work, or their grade, may receive payment of their
pension benefits whilst continuing in employment.
Requests will only be considered if a member of staff is reducing the hours of their current job
by at least 20% (or are transferring to another job which has either 20% fewer hours or is at a
lower grade). In addition, the reduction in salary or grade must be for a minimum of 12
Where flexible retirement is agreed, the benefits payable in such circumstances will be
subject to any actuarial reduction applicable under the pension scheme regulations. The
University will only waive any reduction in whole or part where it considers it is in its financial
or operational interests to do so.
Teachers’ Pension Scheme
With the University’s consent, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme regulations allow scheme
members to take ‘phased retirement’. Scheme members at or after age 55 years must reduce
their average salary by at least 20% (either by reducing their hours or moving to a post of
lesser responsibility) for a period of at least 12 months. Members may draw up to 75% of
their accrued pension benefits whilst continuing in employment.
The University will only agree to flexible or phased retirement in circumstances where the
University considers it in its financial or operational interests to do so. Each case will be
considered on its merits and will require the approval of the Dean / Pro Vice Chancellor, or
their designated nominee, in consultation with the member of staff’s line manager.
For an illustration of benefits on flexible or phased retirement, please contact the University’s
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Should a member of staff wish to apply for flexible or phased retirement they must put their request in
writing to their line manager, with a copy to their HR Adviser in the first instance.
Members of staff who wish to retire and draw pension benefits from the age of 55 years may be
allowed to do so under scheme rules, but this may be subject to a reduction. Where University
consent is required (LGPS members) the University will only agree to early retirement in
circumstances where it considers it is in its financial or operational interests to do so. Each case will
be considered on its own merits. Individuals who are considering this option should contact the
Pensions Manager for further information and/or an illustration of benefits.
Retire, receive pension, re-employ (subject to the earnings rules of the pension scheme)
Reduce workload/move to a less demanding job (lower paid job)
Associated Policies, Procedures & Forms
Flexible Retirement (drawing benefits while continuing in service)
Management Guidance on what to do regarding the abolition of the default retirement age
Equality and Diversity Policy
Intention to Retire/Continue in Employment Form
Law relating to this document
Employment Rights Act 1996
Equality Act 2010
Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011
Working without the default retirement age (PDF format, 856K) (on the Acas website)
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