1. Table of contents

Processing applications for flexible retirement

An online system is used to log and process applications. Costs will be provided to relevant managers through this system.

Once an application is submitted, an alert will be issued to the manager to review the application. The manager must, as soon as possible after receipt of the alert, decide whether to progress or reject the application to allow costings to be undertaken.

Once the Payroll and Pensions teams have provided the necessary financial information, the manager will receive an alert once the costs are available. This process can take several weeks/months due to the nature of the information required.

Once costs have been received, a decision on the outcome should be made as soon as possible by the manager and within 1 month. Managers must prepare a comprehensive assessment of service delivery implications, including the replacement strategy and financial implications using the online system.

Managers need to consider the following factors:

  • Whether the employee has requested to reduce their hours by 40% or has requested to move to a lower graded post
  • Whether the remaining hours in the post are to be backfilled and the costs associated with this or how the service will be delivered with the reduction in hours
  • Whether this helps with succession planning
  • In all cases there must be savings equivalent to a minimum of 25% of the employees salary, net of costs, from approving the application, over a 5 year period.

Managers should be aware that if there is a strain cost to release the employees pension, the service will not pay this and the employee will need to accept an actuarially reduced pension (ARP) to allow their pension benefits to be released.

In all situations, the line manager should discuss the request with the employee at least 3 months before the requested start date. After this, the manager has to decide whether the proposal can be accommodated and progressed or rejected and update the system.

Approved applications

Whilst the manager can agree to progress an application, formal approval is required by:

  • Service Accountant
  • Service Director
  • Head of People, Technology & Transformation
  • Chief Finance Officer

Once final approval has been given the HR Helpdesk will issue the employee with a proposal letter. If accepted by the employee, the Staffing & Recruitment team will send a contractual change letter to the employee and will complete the notification of change form or new appointment form to change the employees hours or post as agreed.

Rejected applications

Managers have the right to refuse the flexible retirement application where the employee does not meet the LGPS criteria or where the requested work pattern cannot be accommodated due to service needs or due to the costs associated with backfilling the post.

If the request cannot be accommodated, the HR Helpdesk will issue the employee with a regret letter. The employee must be informed in writing of the rejection of the application 1 month before the requested implementation date of their new working pattern.