The Council does not operate a compulsory employee retirement age. It is committed to and recognises the contributions of a diverse workforce, including the skills, knowledge and experience older employee bring to an organisation. The Council is also of the view that employees should be permitted it continue working for as long as they wish to do so, provided they meet the performance standards required of their job.
The purpose of these pages is to provide details on how to apply the policy and procedure and related schemes. They cover the full range of issues concerning an employee’s pending retirement and describe the process that should be followed by a manager to arrange for an employee’s retirement. They also include details of the procedures of the related schemes.
This information will help you if:
- You are an employee looking to retire
- You are an employee who is wanting to find out about more about the options available
- You are a manager with an employee who is nearing retirement age
- You are a manager of an employee who has made the decision to retire
The policy covers all employees of the Council but does not apply to any casual or agency worker where a contract of employment does not exist.
2. Retirement in General
For most people the decision to retire is influenced by their access to pension benefits as most Council employees are in a pension scheme.
At times the Council, as the employer, may deem it necessary to reduce the size of the workforce and the employee may wish to retire early. In this situation the Council’s Voluntary Severance/Early Retirement scheme (or equivalent scheme for teachers) details the arrangements and process that applies, with an estimate of benefits issued where there is support for a case.
In addition, there is a facility for employees who are pension scheme members to apply for flexible retirement (phased retirement for teachers) where they can access their pension benefits but remain in employment. This provision allows the Council to retain experienced staff with valuable skills, provided the employee meets the eligibility criteria in the respective scheme. The Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme also has a winding down provision which allows a teacher to continue in employment on a part-time basis whilst protecting their overall final retirement pension entitlement.
Flexible working options in general are available to all employees of any age, including older employees who may be nearing retirement. Flexible working options are discretionary and not a right and as such require prior management approval.
3. Deciding to Retire
Where an employee decides that they wish to retire, they should inform their line manager as far in advance as possible to allow the necessary preparation for retirement. In all cases the employee needs to put their decision in writing with the minimum notice required being that set out in their contract of employment. Following the employee stating their intention to retire, a meeting should be organised to discuss and plan the arrangements for retirement.
4. Discussing Future Plans and Retirement Issues
It is important that the employee’s future plans and work aspirations are discussed on a regular basis. The Council’s Performance, Review and Development scheme (PR&D) or Professional Review and Development process for teachers is the setting where such discussions will take place. The ACAS guidance promotes “open discussions between employers and employees about future plans …can help facilitate the transition from work to retirement.”
Within the PR&D process (Professional Review and Development for Teachers), no account of the age of the employee must be taken but the meeting is the opportunity to look forward and may involve a discussion about where the employee sees themselves in the organisation in the future. Such a discussion may lead to a conversation about retirement. Should the employee raise the issue of retirement then a discussion should take place, however, it should not result in any assumptions being made about the employee’s commitment to the Council.
In short, the Council seeks to retain the best talent, including older employees, with such discussions being an opportunity for both the line manager and the employee to plan jointly for the future.
5. Pension Arrangements and Other Benefits
There are two pension schemes operating in the Council, the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), available to all employees except Teachers and the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme (STPS) available to teachers (and associated professionals as set out in the SNCT handbook), with separate rules and regulations applying to both.
Scheme members who have decided to retire on a specific date may request an estimate of benefits. General information on the schemes and the benefits is also available at the contact addresses below:
- For employees in the LGPS
- Web-site address for the scheme that applies to Aberdeen City Council employees is http://www.nespf.org.uk
- The North East Scotland Pension Fund (NESPF) can be contacted on 01224-264264, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to North East Scotland Pension Fund, Corporate Governance, Business Hub 16, 3rd Floor West, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB.
- For employees in the STPS (Teachers and those under SNCT conditions)
- Web-site address http://www.sppa.gov.uk/
- The Scottish Public Pension Agency (who administer the STPS) can be contacted on 01896 893000 or by writing to Scottish Public Pensions Agency, 7 Tweedside Park, Tweedbank, Galashiels, TD1 3TE.
Retirement Provisions of Recognised Pension Schemes
Within the LGPS and the STPS there are a variety of differing provisions which details ways of employees can retire and/or access their pension benefits. The provisions of the schemes differ so it is important to check with the particular scheme as some of the following options may not apply to both schemes. Some examples of the provisions of the schemes are:
- Flexible retirement (LGPS)
- Ill-health retirement
- Winding Down (Teachers’ Scheme)
- Phased Retirement (Teachers’ Scheme)
- Rule of 85 Process(Protected benefits for LGPS only)
6. Retirement Schemes
Click on the relevant boxes below to find out more about these particular schemes including eligibility criteria and an outline of the procedures.
You May Also be Interested in:
- Pension Contribution Rate Appeals Procedure
- Pension Contribution Rate Appeals Procedure – Guidance
- Rule of 85 Process
- Working Without the Default Retirement Age – ACAS guidance
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