Retirement, early retirement and work after retirement

For retirement benefits to be processed the employer must send the Advanced Notification of Retirement form to the Pensions Office as soon as possible. USS and NHSPS require 3 months' notice to process retirement benefits. OSPS can process retirements in a shorter timescale but ideally would like at least one month's notice.

For University employees the employer should send send form RET1(U) (pdf).

For OSPS members at colleges or other participating employers the employer should send form RET1 (pdf).

Support staff

There is no normal or fixed age at which support staff employed at the University have to retire. However, for the purposes of calculating certain benefits, for members who joined before 1 October 2017, the OSPS rules define normal retirement date as your 65th birthday for benefits built upon a final salary basis and for CARE benefits it is the later of age 65 and your State Pension Age (or your birthday which precedes it, if it does not fall on your birthday). Further details are available from Personnel Services.

Academic-related staff at grades 6 and 7

From 1 October 2017, there is no normal or fixed age at which staff in posts at grades 6 and 7 have to retire. Staff at these grades may elect to retire in accordance with the rules of the applicable pension scheme, as may be amended from time to time. See USS website for latest information on scheme retirement age. Further details are available from Personnel Services.

Academic and academic-related employees at grade 8 or above

The University has agreed an Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) of 30 September before your 69th birthday. Further details are available from Personnel Services.


If you work for the University and are unsure about your normal retirement date, please contact Personnel Services who can confirm the date to you.

You may wish to stop work before your normal retirement date. Two such scenarios are considered below:

Resignation

You may always resign form your work at any time. If you are over 55, you may apply to the Trustees of the scheme to receive your pension early. OSPS members who joined OSPS before 6 April 2006 can take their benefits from age 50, subject to certain conditions. For USS members who are made redundant, they can claim their benefits from age 50. If the Trustees agree, your pensions will be reduced to reflect the early payment.

Ill health

If your health deteriorates so that you become permanently unable to do your job, you may apply to the Trustees for an immediate ill health early retirement benefits. Please contact the Pensions Office for further information.

There are two aspects to preparing for retirement - making the transition from work life to retired life and making sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

You can help to make the transition as smooth as possible by making sure that your departmental Administrator knows when you are retiring. It's a good idea to give your administrator as much notice as possible, so that they can formally notify the Payroll department and the Pensions Office in good time.

But don't wait for the Pensions Office to contact you. The Pensions Office can give you an estimate of your pension and retirement benefits to help you plan your future. It can also prepare the necessary paperwork to ensure the process works smoothly. USS members can get estimates using the modelling tools on the USS website.

Pre-retirement seminar course

Some of you may want to think about other aspects to retiring - health, housing, welfare, etc. The Oxford Learning Institute offers a one-day seminar course, "Retirement: stepping forward with confidence in retirement".

The course explores the life choices people have as they make the important transition into retirement.

The course is suitable for staff approaching or considering retirement.

For further information about this course, please contact the Oxford Learning Institute on 01865 (2) 86808 or services@learning.ox.ac.uk.

You should ask your employer about their policy regarding reemployment of people who have retired from its service. University employees should contact Personnel Services or their departmental administrator for further guidance. For further information about working after retirement, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Working after ill health retirement

If you have retired on the grounds of ill health and subsequently your health improves so you are able to take up paid employment or self-employment before your normal retirement date, you must write immediately to the appropriate scheme giving full details of your new earnings. Your pension may be reduced or suspended, depending on the level of your earnings.

Failure to notify could lead to forfeiture of the pension.

If you have any queries, please see the Frequently Asked questions below or contact the Pensions Office.


Frequently Asked Questions

This section is intended to answer common questions regarding the implications of working after retirement for members of OSPS, USS and NHSPS. If you have a specific query please contact the Pensions Office.

You should ask your employer about their policy regarding re-employment of employees who have retired and claimed pension benefits. For example, the University imposes conditions upon members who retire under any severance scheme. You also need to be aware that pension scheme rules may determine whether or not you can be re-employed and how much you can earn in retirement.

There are also rules imposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on members who retire on age grounds between age 50 and 55 after 5 April 2010.

HMRC raised the minimum age for retirement to 55 for members retiring after 5 April 2010, but members who have service in OSPS or USS before 6 April 2006 can claim their benefits between age 50 and 55 under ‘protected pension age’ regulations. However, HMRC has imposed re-employment conditions on people who retire using their entitlement to a protected pension age. Such members cannot generally be re-employed by the same employer, or a related employer, for six months following retirement (or one month in a materially different role). See HMRC website for more details.

No, HMRC is no longer concerned about this issue.

Generally, the University requires that you must not be re-employed within one month of retiring. In other words, you must have a minimum break of at least one calendar month. Please contact Personnel Services for more information.

If you are a USS member you cannot retire and claim your benefits if there is an agreement in place to return to employment at a later date.

USS and OSPS now offers a flexible retirement option in which you can retire from part of your post. Please contact the Pensions Office.

If you are an NHSPS member and are being re-employed by the University then there are no restrictions. If you are employed in the NHS itself after retirement there are conditions. These are summarised in the Retirement Booklet available on the NHSPS website.

Although HMRC now allow this, the rules of the schemes offered by the University do not allow this unless taking flexible retirement in OSPS or USS. You have to leave your current employment to claim your pension benefits. If you are re-employed by the same employer it must be under a new contract.

You may retire from all your joint appointments simultaneously and draw your benefits.

If you are a USS member you may take part of your USS pension under the flexible retirement rules.  These rules require that remain employed by at least one employer, and that you give up at least 20% your original overall working commitment and reduce your aggregate salary by a minimum of 20%.  You may draw between 20% and 80% of your total pension and lump.

If you are in receipt of an OSPS, USS or NHS pension you can join or rejoin USS or OSPS provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you retire from the defined benefit (CARE) section of OSPS then you cannot rejoin this section. You will have to join the new Investment Builder section.

You should tell your new employer that you are in receipt of a pension as both your pension and your new earnings are taxable income. This should ensure that you pay income tax at the correct level on your pension and your new earnings. Your gross pension will not be adjusted because of your earnings unless you retired on the grounds of ill health (see below).

If you have retired on the grounds of ill health and subsequently your health improves so you are able to take up paid employment or self-employment before your normal retirement date, you must write immediately to the Pensions Office (for OSPS) or USS giving full details of your new earnings. Your pension may be reduced or suspended, depending on the level of your earnings. Failure to notify could lead to forfeiture of the pension.

Both OSPS and USS look closely at cases in which a member who has retired on the grounds of ill health and is re-employed by their old employer or a new employer in a very similar role. If the pension scheme thinks that you have recovered from your illness to the extent that you no longer qualify for ill health retirement under the rules your pension could be cancelled.

No, this is not advised as it is called pension recycling and gives rise to tax penalties. Please read the pages on the HMRC website for further details. You should take independent financial advice if you are considering doing this.

Contact Us


 : Pensions Office
       University of Oxford
       6 Worcester Street
       Oxford OX1 2BX

 : OSPS - osps@admin.ox.ac.uk
       USS - uss@admin.ox.ac.uk
       NHSPS - oxnhsps@admin.ox.ac.uk
       NEST - nest@admin.ox.ac.uk
       Auto-enrolment - 
       ox.autoenrolment@admin.ox.ac.uk
 : (01865) 616133

 
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