Teachers wanting to retire early isn't news.
How it cna be done is more complicated.
The regulations have changed, on the whole making it easier
to retire before the 'full' pension age of 60.
Before 2007, if you decided to retire early (other than on
health, efficiency or grounds of redundancy), you would forfeit benefits. This
is still the case, but not so stringent as before.
Before 2007, it was possible to elect to retire as early as
55, but your pension would be reduced by up to 25%.
Now, although there would be such a reduction if you retired
at 55, but there are other options. It is possible to go part-time at 55
onwards yet have your pension retained at a high level. The pension is now
calculated not on final year salary, but on the averasge of the besst three
years in the last 10. The only proviso is that you have to be in service,
albeit part-time between the ages of 55 and 60.
However, please note that details and advice must be
considered by the union before you take any bold steps, so please make sure
that you get that advice.