I am enrolled in my employer’s pension scheme and I’ve read that from 2020, the ‘pension age’ in Guernsey is set to rise from age 65 to age 70. I am 48 years old and had hoped to be able to retire and draw from my pension at age 65. How will this change impact me?
Sean Gillease, business development manager, Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Ltd, replies:
You are correct that the ‘pension age’ within the States of Guernsey’s old age pension is set to increase from 2020.
However, this should not impact your ability to withdraw income from your employer-sponsored pension scheme, as that is a private pension arrangement which will have different rules from that of the old age pension.
The increase in pension age for the old age pension is being implemented on a staged basis and for anyone born after 1 March 1979 it will mean that they are not entitled to benefit from the old age pension until the age of 70.
For those born between 1 January 1955 and 1 March 1979, the pension age will be somewhere between age 65 and 70.
Therefore, based on your age, your entitlement to the States’ old age pension, which is the pension funded by your social security contributions throughout your working life, will be due around age 68.
The States of Guernsey has some very helpful information on this, including a table detailing the pension ages specific to a certain date of birth, available on its website should anyone wish to see how this will impact them directly. This can be found at https://bit.ly/2L66JVN.
In relation to your employer-sponsored pension scheme, you will have a minimum retirement age and under Guernsey rules this could be payable from age 50. However, the rules of the scheme itself
may mean this is deferred until a higher age.
You should speak with your employer and/or the pension scheme provider that manages your employer- sponsored pension scheme and ask what the minimum retirement age is for your scheme.
Should the minimum retirement age be lower than the pension age under the old age pension, depending on the value of your scheme it may be that you can retire at your desired age of 65 and draw benefit solely from your employer-sponsored scheme until such time as you are eligible to draw benefit from the old age pension to supplement this income.
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