UCL Human Resources



There is no compulsory retirement age at UCL. Staff may voluntarily retire at a time of their choice, subject to providing appropriate notice.

Many staff may continue to retire at their pension age (currently 66 years) because this is when they can access their full pension benefits although they have the choice to work beyond this age and continue to contribute to a pension scheme arrangement to the day before age 75. Staff may be able to flexibly retire or retire before 66 years (normally accessing reduced pension benefits) depending on their pension scheme rules.

Staff are encouraged to discuss their retirement plans as early as possible with their manager to aid future planning. Such discussions can take place informally at any stage although they may be conducted more routinely during annual appraisals or reviews when managers and staff jointly plan for the future.

Where staff decide to retire, they should inform their manager and the Pensions Department, pensions@ucl.ac.uk in writing as far in advance as possible and at least 3 months prior to retirement to enable suitable arrangements to be made with the appropriate pension scheme. Additionally, staff with teaching or other responsibilities for students should note that they are required to give notice such that they leave at the end of a term.

Retirement planning and financial education events are provided by UCL and the pension schemes are available to help staff plan for their future and retirement. Information on pension schemes is available on the Pensions website.

Staff who retire from UCL can also apply for a UCL alumni card which will give access to UCL libraries and a range of discounts on useful services. Please contact alumni@ucl.ac.uk / advancement@ucl.ac.uk or call 020 3108 3833.

Returning to UCL employment following retirement

USS – It is not possible to retire from USS if you have pre-arranged to continue to be employed at UCL under new terms and conditions. It would, however, be possible to commence employment at UCL, or another USS-applicable institution, if you have applied for the post following your retirement from UCL. UCL will require you to take a break in service for a complete week ending with a Saturday before you return. In other words, there must be an interval lasting from Sunday to Saturday.

NHS Pension Scheme – will require you to break from employment for 24 hours to retire and return. However, UCL require you to take a break in service for a complete week ending with a Saturday before you can return.  In other words, there must be an interval lasting from Sunday to Saturday.

In the past National Clinical Excellence Awards (NCEAs) stopped when retiring and returning to employment, however, this is no longer automatically the case.  If you have an NCEA and wish to retire and return, then it is expected that you will let the Advisory Committee on Clinical Impact Awards (ACCIA) know directly before you consider the retire and return option.  You can do this by completing the Clinical Excellence Award holders: employment change notification. You should provide information about your proposed retirement and any changes to your role new job plan which will allow the ACCIA to take a view about eligibility, pro-rating (if applicable), and the required timing of re-application for an excellence award.  

SAUL – will require you to break from employment for at least one calendar month and return to employment on a part time basis only. The SAUL Trustee reserve the right to cancel, reduce or suspend your SAUL pension in payment if you return to work on a full-time basis.