Your Options at Retirement

Your options at retirement

When you reach retirement age, you’ll receive pension benefits from the Scheme, paid regularly like a salary, for the rest of your life. However, you may wish to consider all the options available to you.

  • Take your benefits from the Scheme

    If you choose to take your benefits directly from the Scheme, you will have:

    • A guaranteed income for life
    • An optional tax-free cash lump sum of up to 25% of the total value of your pension.

    For your loved ones:

    • If you have a spouse / civil partner / qualifying dependant when you pass away, they’ll receive a pension for the rest of their life
    • If you pass away less than 5 years after taking your pension, your spouse will receive a pension equal to the pension you would have received from the Scheme for the remainder of that 5-year period. This will then reduce to 50% of the pre-commuted pension at the end of the 5-year period.
  • Transfer your benefits out of the Scheme

    If you choose to transfer your benefits out of the Scheme, you will have three options. Choose one – or a combination – of the options to access your pension savings:

    1. Buy a regular, guaranteed income for life (an annuity)
    2. Withdraw income as and when you need it (drawdown)
    3. Take a single cash lump sum

    Should you wish to, you can mix-and-match from the options above. For example, you can take some cash up front (lump sum option), buy an income for life to cover the basics (annuity) and draw down the rest of your pension savings. It’s entirely your choice!

    We strongly recommend that you get guidance and/or advice if you’re thinking about transferring your pension. In fact, if your transfer value is £30,000 or larger, you have to take advice to transfer out of the Scheme. Once you transfer out, you cannot re-join the Scheme.

  • Advice

    By taking financial advice, you’ll receive a specific recommendation on the most suitable option for you, based on your own personal circumstances and financial situation. Remember, your best option will nearly always be receiving a pension from the Scheme.

    You can find a list of financial advisers in your area by visiting

  • Guidance

    The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is also available to provide you with helpful guidance on your retirement options. There is a lot of information available on their website, or you can talk to them either by:

    Telephone: 0800 011 3797 (from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

    Webchat (available 9am to 6:20pm, Monday to Friday with an extended Tuesday evening session from 7pm to 9pm).

  • The State Pension

    As well as your Scheme pension, you may be entitled to the State Pension, which you’ll be able to claim once you reach the State Pension Age (SPA). You can check your SPA online at

Learn about tax and your pension

Your P45

A temporary tax code will be used until the Tax Office have confirmed your correct code. When you retire, a P161 form is sent to you by the Tax Office, which you must return to them so that the correct tax code can be set up.

Your P60

Each year, you will be sent a P60 (usually in May) which shows the amount of gross pension and tax deducted for the tax year. The tax year begins on 6 April one year and ends on 5 April the following year.

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about retirement and the options available to you. We may add to these from time to time, so it’s worth checking back.

If your question is not answered, you may find what you’re looking for by logging into the Scheme Administrator’s website.

Or you may wish to email the Scheme Administrator for more information.

» Read the latest Frequently Asked Questions