Choosing a Retirement Date

When can I retire?

You are eligible to retire when you reach any of the milestones listed below. However, the decision of exactly when to retire is up to you.

It is important to keep in mind that SHEPP is a defined benefit plan, which means your pension is determined by a formula based on your highest average contributory earnings and years of credited service. This means as your average contributory earnings and years of credited service grow, so does your pension. Therefore some members choose to work past their early and/or normal retirement date in order to increase the amount of their SHEPP lifetime pension.

Retirement eligibility is determined based on your age and years of service:

  • Normal Retirement: Is the first day of the month that coincides with or immediately follows your 65th birthday. At normal retirement you are entitled to an unreduced pension.
  • Early Retirement (unreduced pension): You can retire with an unreduced pension as soon as your age and years of credited service add up to 80 or more. You will also be eligible to receive a bridge benefit, payable from retirement to age 65.
  • Early Retirement (reduced pension): You can retire with a reduced pension any time after age 55 with at least two years of service. The reduction applied will depend on your continuous service.
  • Postponed retirement: You must begin collecting your pension by December 1st of the year in which you reach age 71.

How do I narrow down a date?

This is a decision only you can make based on your personal circumstances. In order for you to make this decision, we ask you work with your spouse (if applicable), a financial planner or other retirement professionals, and SHEPP.

Using the Pension Projection Calculator on SHEPPweb, you can perform unlimited pension projections to help you determine what your monthly pension might be at various retirement dates. For example, you can perform a projection based on one retirement date and then perform another projection using a retirement date one year later to determine approximately how much more your monthly pension might be if you choose to work an extra year. Watch the How to Estimate Your Pension video on the Video Tutorials page for help using this calculator.

Once you have made the decision to retire, you should contact SHEPP 3-6 months prior to your chosen retirement date and request a retirement package.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a retirement date:

  • If you work for more than one SHEPP employer, you can only receive a retirement benefit if you retire from all of your SHEPP employers.
  • It is your responsibility to notify your employer(s) of your decision to retire. SHEPP cannot proceed to finalise your pension until your employer submits the required forms to SHEPP.
  • Your pension payments are always made on the last banking day of the month, and SHEPP always considers your retirement to begin on the first day of the month following your last day of employment. As an example, if your last day with your employer is May 2nd, your pension will begin on June 1st. This means you would not get your first pension payment until June 30th. In order to minimise the length of time between your last pay cheque from your employer and your first pension payment from SHEPP you may want to consider working until the end of the month.

For more information refer to the Retirement Guide.