If your company is contemplating redundancies, they may ask for volunteers and offer early retirement packages. There are many personal considerations to take into account, including:
- the financial package on offer;
- the payment of any occupational pension;
- the effect of accepting voluntary severance on, for example, any mortgage protection insurance;
- the effect of accepting voluntary severance on your entitlement to state benefits;
- the prospects of finding alternative work;
- the tax position; and
- your entitlement to a state pension and the amount of time left before you reach state retirement age.
Because of the complex nature of some of these issues, you should seek as much advice as possible from, for example:
- a trade union representative;
- a pensions fund trustee;
- the Benefits Division of the Department for Work & Pensions; or
- the Pensions Advisory Service.
The acceptance of an early retirement package would probably count as a termination of employment by mutual agreement rather than a dismissal. This has important implications for any tribunal claim you might be considering. If in doubt, take proper advice.