When to retire

When you can retire with an IWDC pension, depends on:

  • when you joined the scheme
  • the funds your Personal Retirement Account (PRA) is invested in

This is explained in detail below:

Normal Retirement Age (NRA)

Many IWDC members will have a Normal Retirement Age (NRA) of between 60 and 65 years old. 

If you’re unsure of what your NRA is, you can check it in your Member Guide. This is available in the library section once you have logged in to your myRPS account.

Your NRA may be different to the age for claiming your State Pension.  While your NRA is set by the Scheme, the State Pension Age is set by the Government and is based entirely on when you were born. You can check your State Pension Age here.

Target Retirement Age (TRA)

If you’re invested in a Lifestyle Strategy you should have chosen a Target Retirement Age (TRA).  This can be as early as 55 years old or as late as 75 years old.

If you’re unsure of your TRA you can find, and change it, by logging in to your myRPS account.

You’re likely to have a Lifestyle Strategy if you’ve chosen for your pension to be managed on your behalf, rather than to self-select your investment funds.  You can find out more about the fund choices available here. 

Pension freedoms

In line with pension freedoms introduced by the Government in 2015, you may be able access your PRA from age 55, or as early as 50 if you have a Protected Pension Age, even without a TRA.

You can also decide to delay taking your pension right up until your 75th birthday

Protected Pension Age

If you were an active member of the Scheme on 5 April 2006, your earliest retirement age may be 50 rather than 55.  This is because you could have a Protected Pension Age as part of your membership.  

This does not apply if you have

  • opted out of active membership
  • transferred your benefits

If you do have a Protected Pension Age and retire before age 55, there are certain restrictions that apply

  • You must take all your benefits from the RPS (both DB and DC) at the same time;
  • You must leave employment before taking your benefits; and
  • You cannot re-join your most recent employer, or an employer in the same group, within:
    • one month in any role; or
    • six months in a role which is not ‘materially different’

If you do not follow these rules then you could face a big tax bill.

Ill-health retirement

If you have to stop work due to ill health, you may be able to start taking your pension before your reach the Normal Retirement Age or your Target Retirement Age outlined above.

More information can be found in our ‘Read As You Need Guide’ to claiming incapacity benefits here.  

Making the right decision for you

Liverpool Victoria (LV) has been chosen as the official partner to give RPS members access to financial advice. LV can be contacted on 0800 023 4187.  

You are still free to choose your own Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). You can find an IFA in your area at unbiased.co.uk

Staying in or returning to work

In most cases if you decide to carry on working past your NRA or TRA you could start claiming your pension at the same time.

You could also decide to retire, but then change your mind and return to work at a later date.

Either way there may be a significant impact on the tax you pay.  More details can be found here.

However, if you have a Protected Pension Age and retire before age 55, then you must leave employment before taking your benefits.  You also cannot re-join your most recent employer, or an employer in the same group, within:

  • one month in any role; or
  • six months in a role which is not ‘materially different’