When you reach your Minimum Pension Age, you may be eligible to take some or all your pension benefits without having to fully retire.

This used to be known as Draw Down.

To be eligible for partial retirement you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have reached your minimum pension age
  • be an active member of the NHS Pension Scheme
  • have had the previous level of pensionable pay for at least 12 months
  • reduce your actual pensionable pay by at least 10% or a 10% reduction in commitment if you’re a GP, Dental Practitioner, Ophthalmic or non-GP provider - the agreement needs to be in place before your retirement date however the reduction should not start until after the day after your retirement date
  • expect your new pensionable pay to stay the same for at least 12 months
  • have a change in your terms and conditions to show the reduction in pensionable pay
  • have not claimed partial retirement on 2 occasions

If you do not meet the criteria, the pension would no longer be payable.

You can take between 20% and 100% of all your pension payments without having to leave your current job.

If you have a minimum pension age of 50 you must take 100% of your 1995 Section benefits if you are claiming your benefits before the age of 55.

Partial retirement benefits paid before your Normal Pension Age (NPA) will be actuarially reduced.

If you claim partial retirement when you’re over your NPA, you must do this before your 75th birthday.

If you've had a break of 5 years or more, your legacy scheme pension benefits cannot be considered for partial retirement.

From 1 April 2024, 1995 Section members with maximum service will be able to apply for partial retirement.

Reduction in pensionable pay

It's both yours and your employer’s responsibility to tell us about any increases in pay or changes to the conditions of employment.

Any work that you do that does not count as pensionable pay will not count towards your earnings.

If you were not active during the whole of the last 12 months, your pensionable pay will be uprated. This is calculated by:

Pay received × 365 ÷ number of days active.

If you’ve got more than one employment, you must take a reduction of at least 10% on the combined pay across all pensionable employments. The reduction can be across one employment or multiple employments.

An agreement of your new working arrangements must be in place before your employer sends us your application for partial retirement.

Read more information about reducing your pensionable pay on the Partial retirement factsheet.

Lump sum

If you have 1995 Section benefits, you cannot take your lump sum from the 1995 Section separately from your pension. Taking partial retirement involves claiming a proportion of your pension and any lump sum associated with that pension.

You'll have the option to exchange some of your pension to provide for:

  • a lump sum for the 2008 Section or 2015 Scheme
  • an additional lump sum for the 1995 Section

Chose to move to 2008 Section

If you chose to transfer to the 2008 Section during the Choice exercise, you must take a mandatory lump sum for your pensionable service up to 21 March 2008.

If you choose to take partial retirement, you can take part of your mandatory lump sum.

Did not choose to move to 2008 Section

You do not have an automatic entitlement to a lump sum on retirement.

You can commute up to 25% of your pension benefits in exchange for a lump sum. If you take partial retirement, you can take part of your commuted lump sum.

Applying for partial retirement

Contact your employer for an AW8 form and Partial Retirement Supplementary form.

If you’re a GP, Dental Practitioner, Ophthalmic or non-GP provider, the head of the practice will complete the employer section of the Partial Retirement Supplementary form. If you’re the head of the practice, a partner would need to complete the form instead.

Once you’ve completed your sections of the forms, give these to your employer to send your application to us.

If you’ve got more than one employment, you should request your AW8 and Partial Retirement Supplementary form from the employer where you hold the most substantive post.

Partial retirement calculator

A partial retirement calculator is available on our website.

It will allow you to see how taking different percentages of your pension at partial retirement affects the amount of pension benefits you’ll get overall.

You can find the information needed to enter on the calculator on your Total Reward Statement (TRS) or by asking your employer.

The list of members that cannot use the calculator can be found on our website.

If you cannot use the calculator you can use the Partial Retirement Member Estimate form to get an estimate.

Read more information about partial retirement on our website.