1. What does the removal of the Default Retirement Age mean?

The removal of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) means that a mandatory retirement age will cease to exist and organisations will not be able to dismiss individuals by way of retirement. However individuals may still elect to retire of their own accord as further detailed below. A pensionable age will continue to exist, see question 2.

2. What is the Pensionable Age?

The Pensionable Age is the age, set out in The Pensions Act, from which you can draw an unreduced pension (pension benefits which are not reduced by retiring earlier than the Pensionable Age). Current legislation mandates that the State Pension may be drawn from age 65 but must be drawn no later than age 75.

3. Can I still leave on my ‘normal’ retirement date (previously the Default Retirement Age)?

Although there is no longer a default retirement age (‘normal’ retirement age) which was usually 65 you can still retire on the date that you originally intended. The legislation simply removes any compulsion for you to cease employment at a specific age.

4. Will I be notified of my right to work beyond the Default Retirement Age?

No. With the removal of the Default Retirement Age the current notification procedure will cease. The default expectation will be that individuals will have the right to continue working until they notify the institution of their request to retire.

(Note: If you are due to reach your ‘normal’ retirement age (currently defined as the Default Retirement Age) prior to 30 September 2011, you will already have been contacted to ask whether you wish to apply to work longer.)

5. If I want to continue to work beyond the ‘normal’ retirement age (previously the Default Retirement Age) what do I have to do?

If your ‘normal’ retirement age falls on or after 1 October 2011 no further action is required by you – simply continue working. It is expected that you will continue to perform the duties of the role to the expected standards.

6. What if I want to retire?

You should discuss your intention to retire with your manager as early as possible in your deliberations. Once you have made your decision to retire, you should send a letter outlining your intention to retire to your line manager, giving your contractual period of notice.

You and your line manager should then complete the Leaver Form. This will begin the process of your retirement.

If it is your intention to draw your retirement benefits upon ceasing employment with the University you will need to contact the Pensions Team to determine your entitlement.

7. Can I still retire from 60 years of age?

Yes. You can retire and draw upon your retirement benefits provided that you have attained your 55th birthday and meet the relevant criteria for drawing your benefits under the rules of your pension scheme. Your retirement benefits may be reduced if you retire before your scheme's normal retirement age. There are differences between the University's pension schemes and therefore you should liaise with the Pensions Team to seek additional information on your retirement benefits.

8. Where can I get information on how my decision to retire will affect my pension?

Current employees should contact the Pensions Team for information about how to obtain retirement benefit illustrations. Former employees can obtain retirement benefit illustrations direct from the relevant pension scheme administrator. You may wish to consider seeking advice from an independent financial adviser.

9. What happens if I am on a fixed term contract?

Should you wish to retire prior to the end of your current fixed term contract, you will be managed in the same way as any other person on an indefinite contract. You will need to inform us in writing that you wish to retire giving appropriate notice accordingly.

10. What happens if I apply for a job at the University and am over 65?

You will be assessed on merit against the requirements of the role and person specification for the job. Your age will not be a factor in the assessment.

11. Can my manager ask me about my intentions with regard to retirement?

Yes, as part of the annual review process or at any other appropriate meeting your manager may ask about your short, medium and long term career plans. This type of conversation will assist with workforce planning, career planning and may include discussions concerning life planning, such as retirement.

12. If I have said I want to retire can I change my mind?

Yes – until the point at which you submit in writing your intention to retire, providing your contractual notice period and leave date. Once you have submitted your resignation/retirement letter, the University is under no obligation to allow you to continue working beyond your stated leave date.

13. Can I ask to work part time?

Yes, you can ask to work part time. You should note however that while there is a right to request there is no entitlement to part time work and any such request will need to take into account the operational demands of, and impact on, the Department. Your request should be made through the normal flexible working guidelines.

14. If I decide to stay on, will I be expected to perform the same duties to the same standard?

Yes, if you stay on in the same role you will be expected to perform the same duties to the same standards. There will be no change to your contractual obligations unless you request and have agreed flexible/different working arrangements (See question 13). If you change role you will be expected to perform the duties associated with the role to the standards expected by the University. If you change to part time you will be expected to perform the duties appropriate to the part time nature of the role to standards expected by the University.