Retiring early

The earliest you can start taking your pension is usually age 55. You might be able to take it earlier if you are taking an incapacity pension. If you joined the original British Steel Pension Scheme before 6 April 2006, you can start taking your pension at 50. The government plans to raise the minimum retirement age from 55 to 57, from 2028.

If you retire early, we will reduce your pension to make up for the fact that we will be paying it to you for longer. You can contact the Pensions Office to ask for a current early payment value.

The reduction is not as straightforward as applying a percentage reduction back from age 65. In order to work it out, a number of general assumptions have to be made by the Scheme actuary, including:

  • whether or not the member is likely to be married when they die
  • how long the member (and any spouse) would be expected to live
  • what the average rate of inflation might be throughout the member’s (and any spouse’s) future lifetime, both before and after retirement (this determines the rate of pension increases in the future)
  • the average rate of investment returns that any cash sum invested in the Scheme at the date of retirement would be expected to earn over the member’s (and any spouse’s) future lifetime.

The reduction is calculated by the Scheme actuary on a ‘cost neutral’ basis. This means that, taking all members in total, the Scheme should make neither a gain nor a loss as a result of members retiring early.

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