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As well as normal retirement there are several ways you can leave the scheme and these are as follows:

  • You can opt out of the scheme.
  • You can decide to resign at any time. If when you leave you have more than two years service in the scheme your pension is preserved until pension age unless you wish to claim your pension early - Actuarially Reduced Retirement (ARR). If you were in post before April 2006, you can claim your pension from the age of 50, and age 55 if you were in post after April 2006. If you have less than two years service you will not qualify for a preserved pension.
  • If an employer decides to do a redundancy exercise, that is another way of leaving.
  • Another option is leaving on grounds of ill health.
  • You may have the the option of retiring early.
  • Although not in the context of leaving entirely, you may take partial retirement.


The Research Councils' Pension Scheme provides for members to give up (allocate) part of their pension (or annual compensation payment) in return for a pension payable on the member's death to:

  • The member's husband, wife or civil partner (at the time the option is made); or
  • The person who is solely or mainly dependent on the member (both at the time the option is made and at the date of the member's death).

The allocation arrangements are additional to the RCPS family benefits arrangements. The allocation option must be made before the pension comes into payment. The amount of pension payable to a beneficiary will be determined by the age and sex of both the member and beneficiary and by the amount of pension allocated. Please note: Members retiring (or retired) on ill health terms cannot allocate.

For more information on allocation, please read the Allocation of Pension (PDF, 137KB) guide, or please email , providing your scheme number or National Insurance number.