With the consent of the Company and the Trustee, once you have reached age 55 you may be able to opt for 'flexible retirement'. Flexible retirement means that only a proportion of your Plan pension comes into payment, leaving you free to choose when the remainder of your pension comes into payment.
Following the High Court ruling on 26 October 2018, regarding how to adjust benefits to reflect gender inequalities in Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs), the Trustee has decided not to consent to any new flexible retirement requests at the current time.
For more information on the High Court ruling click here.
You must meet the following conditions to apply for flexible retirement
You must have left pensionable service
The value of your Plan pension must be at least £30,000 (this is based on what the value of your pension would be if you were to transfer it from the Plan to another arrangement, this is known as the cash equivalent transfer value)
The remaining Plan pension that does not come into payment must be sufficient to cover your Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)
When you decide that you would like your remaining Plan pension to come into payment, it must all come into payment at that time. Alternatively, the Trustee may allow you to transfer the cash equivalent transfer value of your remaining Plan pension to another pension arrangement
A maximum of four tranches can be drawn during the flexible retirement period. Each tranche must not be less than a minimum of £2,000 per year and the final tranche must cover your Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP).
Flexible retirement includes the option of taking your defined contribution AVCs as a lump sum before or after your Plan pension comes into payment. Not all AVC providers will allow flexible disinvestments and some providers state that a minimum amount must remain in the AVC policy. You should contact Equiniti for more information if you wish to partially disinvest your AVC funds. If you decide to use your AVCs to fund your pension commencement lump sum, you should consider taking independent financial advice before making any such decision.