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Minimum age 55 to retire on reduced NHS pension. What is the likelihood of the minimum age going up?

(33 Posts)
Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 11:42:47

I'm 51 and am laying down long term plans pension wise.
I work for the NHS and if I've got this right, I can retire on reduced pension at 55.

That's what I plan to do, but I keep having these nightmares about being ready to set the ball rolling, only to find the minimum age increases. Can this happen?

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 12:15:27

Meant to say, whether it could happen within the next 4 years....sorry.

weaselwords Sun 05-Feb-17 12:18:14

God I hope not. I'm planning to do exactly the same thing and turning 50 this year. I just missed mental health officer status angry

Babyroobs Sun 05-Feb-17 12:21:47

I turn 50 next year and am planning to retire from the NHS at 55 ( but keep my other job going !) I am counting down the years already so sincerely hope it doesn't change.

languagelearner Sun 05-Feb-17 12:23:32

I think it is happening in my country right how (Sweden), raising from lowest age of 61 to 62 or 63 before 2018 (I googled it now). But every country is different.

SauvignonBlanche Sun 05-Feb-17 12:23:43

How much is your pension reduced by?

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 14:24:30

I've got some paperwork somewhere with my pension details Sauvignon, but not sure how much it's reduced by. I need to sit down and read it thoroughly.

I have savings to buffer the shortfall, which is good, but might have to go on an agency and work a couple of days a week. I'll know more nearer the time ( those four years are going to fly by !!!!!)

Sunseed Sun 05-Feb-17 14:29:18

When the State Pension age goes up to 66 and then 67 it is expected that minimum pension age will go up as well so that maintains the 10 year difference as at the moment.

State Pension age for both men and women will be equalised at 65 by the end of 2018, and then creep up to 66 for both by end of 2020. So yes, it might be possible that the minimum age for accessing your pension does go up within the next four years.

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 14:32:22

Bumping, as well I'm hoping somebody will come along who can answer my question, and give us an idea xx

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 14:34:10

Is that the same for the NHS pension though, Sunseed?

Viviennemary Sun 05-Feb-17 14:34:54

I think there is a risk this could happen. Nothing is certain with pensions IMHO and people should take this into consideration when making plans.

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 14:42:49

This is why I am asking, Viviennemary, wasn't sure if the NHS minimum pensionable age stayed as it was, compared to the rising state pension age.

We have savings and other pension plans, but I want to plan ahead xx

UncomfortableBadger Sun 05-Feb-17 15:02:11

Minimum pension age will increase to 57 in 2028, to fall in line with State Pension increases.

It's then expected to stay at about 10 years before State Pension age after that, although frankly by that point, who knows.

Politicians have a terrible propensity to tinker with pensions legislation. Certainly was very surprised by the sudden turnaround on pension flexibilities in April 2015, but then again, it's been a huge money spinner in terms of taxes raised

UncomfortableBadger Sun 05-Feb-17 15:06:58

PS Please do think VERY carefully about whether it's worth taking NHS pension benefits early.

Top of my head, if you're in either the 1995 or 2008 sections & have a normal retirement age of 65, then you're looking at about a 40% reduction for retirement at 55. So not insignificant by any means.

If you're in the 1995 section & have a protected retirement age of 60, then it's about a 12% reduction for retirement at age 55.

Of course if you have 2015 scheme membership also, then that gets much more complicated...

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 15:23:49

I was in the 1995 pension, but it got moved into the 2015 one along with the 2008 pension.
Think that's right....I need to look into this again.
I'm not under protected rights either.

Thanks though, both Uncomfortablebadger and Sunseed depressing though it is, it's given me things to think about xx

MissDemelzaCarne Sun 05-Feb-17 15:35:25

It's made me think too, I've 28 years service and don't have a clue what section I'm in. blush

QueenofWhatever Sun 05-Feb-17 15:43:46

Agree with badger, be very careful about taking your pension early because you lose so much.

What staff group are you and what role are you working in?

The thing that makes planning difficult is recommissioning of services. So many nurses and AHPs in community services have been TUPE'd over to private providers like Virgin. Sounds OK at the beginning, but any move you make from then on and you're out of the NHS.

Look at those poor sods in Public Health. Carved off into the Local Authorities, posts cut left right and centre and they've lost their NHS Ts and Cs by and large.

The demographic cliff edge in clinical staff is becoming apparent and I think the retiring at fifty five thing is at risk myself.

Northernlurker Sun 05-Feb-17 15:52:01

I joined in 2002 and haven't a clue TBH. I intend to work to 65 anyway.

FrozeninSummer Sun 05-Feb-17 16:44:18

I can't comment on NHS pensions but just to give you an idea I know in the Civil Service pension when there have been changes it protects people who are within 10 years of retirement. I would expect the NHS to do something similar given that there will be lots of employees with very long careers who have made pension plans accordingly.

I would also expect changes to be announced with a decent amount of notice within the NHS scheme, I know we had plenty of notice in the Civil Service - to use the state pension as an example since it has been mentioned, the changes to the state pension were announced well in advance. But of course this is just my musing - these days we can't be sure of much when it comes to pensions...but in short, if I was you, I don't think I would be too worried. But in my case, I am very worried as I have many many years ahead yet.

MissDemelzaCarne Sun 05-Feb-17 16:49:58

I joined in 1988, I'm 47 now. I can imagine working for another as a nurse for another 8 years until I'm 55 but the thought of working shifts until I'm 60 is scary.

I'd better start looking into this - I feel old now! sad

Cheeseandbeansontoast Sun 05-Feb-17 16:54:58

Queen I'm admin and clerical Band 2 receptionist. The recommissioning of services is awful.

NorthernLurker I was in the 1995 pension until it moved over to the 2015 one, and I started in 2005. Could be you are on the same one.

Sunseed Sun 05-Feb-17 19:09:38

There is a long time between retiring at 55 and the State Pension kicking in at 67 - have a think about how you are going to bridge the gap. Will you look for another job? In which case, will you actually need to draw down on the NHS pension income if you have other salary income. The longer you can leave it before taking benefits the better really.

Also, I may be wrong so please do correct me, but if you leave the NHS and are a deferred member for more than 2 years then my understanding is that you can then look at transferring benefits out of the scheme altogether. Normally I would counsel against this but in certain circumstances it can be more beneficial to move the transfer value to a personal pension plan..... but this does require specialist pension advice and is not to be undertaken lightly. I'm just putting it out there as something to think about as you are starting to do some long term planning OP.

scrivette Sun 05-Feb-17 19:21:37

You should be able to retire at 55, but as PP said there will be large reductions to your benefits as you are taking them before your normal retirement age.

Under Freedom and Choice you could transfer them to a personal pension provider and release some of the equity... however I wouldn't advise it as there are huge costs involved. I often see people thinking about it and getting quotes then changing their mind once they see what they will be getting for their transfer.

The NHS pensions website has quite a lot of information and should have the reduction factors on there. Although if you call them they should be able to confirm which scheme you are in and may give you further information over the phone.

QueenofWhatever Sun 05-Feb-17 19:22:14

I'd always thought taking your pension at 55 was only for clinical staff. Is it for non-clinical staff in the NHS too? I'm non-clinical now as I've been in management a long time.

If I can take my pension at 55 or 60, my plans might start looking a little different! I'm still in the 2005 scheme which is also a better one to be in, so it could work to my advantage.

Chottie Sun 05-Feb-17 19:27:08

OP - I would not trust the Govt not to make more changes to the pension system before you reach 55.

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