What if I retire early?
If you leave your job at age 50 or over, you can draw the whole of your pension straight away if you wish (subject to certain statutory conditions being met - see below).
If you retire early, any pension paid before its relevant Normal Retirement Age will be reduced because you and BA will have paid fewer contributions than expected to fund your final benefits and the pension will be paid for a longer period of time.
The government raised the minimum retirement age to age 55 from 6 April 2010. Members of APS have some protection from this change. APS members who leave British Airways and draw all their pension benefits straightaway – including any AVCs and Scheme benefits from previous BA Schemes – can continue to retire from age 50 onwards. If an APS member opts out of the Scheme and remains in employment with BA, the earliest that pension benefits can be drawn is the earlier of:
a) the date employment with BA ends or
b) the member's 55th birthday.
If you don’t want to stop work entirely, Flexible Retirement may be the right option for you. Under Flexible Retirement, you can request Company consent to reduce your working hours at any time from age 55 and at the same time draw part or all of your pension benefits built up to date whilst continuing to pay for extra pension for future service.
You can also continue working and draw your pension early anytime from age 55 by choosing to opt-out of the pension scheme. See I want to leave my BA pension Scheme for further details if you are considering opting out of the Scheme.