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Deciding when and how to retire

Years of contributing to your NHS pension all culminate in the choices you make at retirement.


Your retirement could last twenty years or more. So the decisions you make will have long lasting implications on your financial wellbeing and retirement lifestyle. You really do not want to have to live with a poor decision.

Retiring members frequently call on our professional guidance, often several years before they actually intend to retire.

The first step in a successful retirement plan is to have a clear view of what you want to achieve:

  • At what age do you aim to retire?
  • Do you want to retire fully or partially?
  • What retirement lifestyle do you hope for?

Whether you can realise all of your retirement goals comes down to your financial resources, and the way in which you use them.

It is very likely the bulk of your retirement income will be provided by your NHS pension scheme. As much as it is acclaimed for being one of the country's best pensions (rightly so), it is also complex, and you should approach it with care when making decisions about how to draw your benefits.

Such is the flexibility of the NHS scheme that you have several options available to you:

  • Draw benefits early at age 50 or 55, depending on which scheme section you're in, and subject to other qualifying criteria
  • Continue to work, at the same time as drawing benefits (so-named the 24 hour retirement rule)
  • Exchange pension benefits for a larger tax-free lump sum at retirement

There are advantages and drawbacks to each, which is a good reason for taking professional advice.

Your retirement choices won't simply end with your workplace pension. You will undoubtedly have other financial resources at your disposal. These may include personal pensions, property and savings and investments. All can play a part, but they bring yet more options and decisions to make:

  • Do you buy an annuity or keep your pension invested?
  • What investment strategy is best for you?
  • What type of annuity do you buy, and from whom?
  • Do you release free equity stored in your property?

Given what's at stake, it is vital to fully understand all of the options open to you. The decisions you make must be well-informed, so that you enter retirement confident you are on the surest financial footing.

There are a number of excellent (free) resources available to you, particularly if you want more information about drawing benefits from your NHS scheme. These range from the NHS pension website to the BMA's pension team

Personal, comprehensive retirement plans from Chase de Vere

If you would like individual advice and personal recommendations, as opposed to general guidance, then our specialist independent financial advisers would be delighted to assist.

With their intimate understanding of NHS scheme, our financial advisers also have a wider financial knowledge, so can effectively integrate your other assets into your overall retirement plan.

A Chase de Vere independent financial adviser will help you:

  • Establish the feasibility of achieving your retirement goals versus available resources
  • Recommend how best to utilise your various financial resources to achieve your goals
  • Keep your retirement income plan on track throughout your retirement years
  • Plan for other eventualities, such as a need to fund long-term care or to bequeath a financial legacy

Call us today on 0345 609 2008 or click here and we'll call you back to book your free initial consultation.

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“Andrea Sproates (Head of BMA Independent Financial Advice) kindly came and spoke at one of our meetings about changes within the NHS Pension Scheme and how they are likely to affect all of us. The talk was excellent and was very well received by those who were able to attend.”

Dr Jon Davies