You can retire and receive your benefits at any time from age 55* onwards and you do not need your employer’s permission. If you choose to retire before your normal pension age, your benefits may be reduced as they will be paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced by depends on how early you draw them. If you are registered with My NILGOSC Pension Online, you can use the benefit projector to see how your benefits will be affected if you decide to retire early.
You may also be able to claim your benefits early in the following circumstances:
- If you become ill before your benefits are due to be paid, you may be able to access them immediately. To be considered for ill-health benefits, you must have at least two years’ total Scheme membership. NILGOSC must also be satisfied that you are permanently incapable of doing your own job and have a reduced likelihood of being capable of doing any other job before your normal pension age.
- If your employer makes you redundant, or you are retired on the grounds of business efficiency, and you are aged 55 or over and meet the two-year qualifying period, your benefits will be paid immediately without any early retirement reductions.
*The national minimum pension age, the earliest age you can access your pension benefits, will be increased from age 55 to age 57 from 6 April 2028.