Applying for early retirement for shift workers and night workers

Last update 09.12.2021

This type of early retirement allows people who have worked as part of a work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts, or in a permanent night-work job, to retire earlier than normal, subject to certain conditions.

This scheme is open to employees who have worked in this way for:

  • at least 20 years; or
  • 15 out of the last 25 years of activity.

The reduction in work time results in a position being vacated, which can be filled by an unemployed person or an apprentice.

Early retirement should not be confused with early old-age pension: old-age pension is drawn from the pension insurance fund, whereas in principle early retirement is limited to 3 years. It is treated in the same way as insurance years that are taken into account when determining the amount of the legal pension entitlement.

Who is concerned

Early retirement for shift workers and night workers is available to those:

  • in the private sector;
  • who are at least 57 years of age;
  • who have spent either 20 years of their career in total, or 15 out of the last 25 years, on a permanent night-work job or in shift work.

Their work arrangement must include at least one night shift.

Prerequisites

To be eligible for early retirement for shift workers and night workers, the employee must:

  • be at least 57 years of age;
  • have been with the employer filing the application for at least 5 years at the time;
  • be able to provide proof of:
    • having worked for 20 years in a shift job (in a work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts, which must include night working), or 20 years in a permanent night-work job;
    • having worked for 15 years in a shift job (in a work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts, which must include night working), or 15 years in a permanent night-work job over the past 25 years of their career;
    At least 20% of their normal monthly working hours must be between the hours of 22.00 and 6.00.
  • meet the eligibility criteria for either an old-age pension or an early old-age pension no later than 3 years after the acceptance of their application for early retirement.

If these conditions are met, early retirement cannot be refused: early retirement for shift workers and night workers is a guaranteed entitlement.

Deadlines

Persons wishing to apply for early retirement for shift workers and night workers must submit a written request to their employer no later than 3 months before the expected date of acceptance of their application for early retirement.

How to proceed

Application procedure

Persons wishing to apply for early retirement for shift workers and night workers must submit a written request to their employer no later than 3 months before the expected date of acceptance of their application for early retirement.

Along with the application, they must submit their pension entitlement certificate, issued by the National Pension Insurance Fund (Caisse nationale d'assurance pension), stating the dates on which they become eligible for old-age pension or early old-age pension. They must also provide all documents, certificates or declarations enabling them to prove that they do indeed meet the specific conditions required for this type of early retirement.

The employer files the application with the Early Retirement Office at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de l'Economie sociale et solidaire – MTEESS) at least one month prior to the intended start date of the early retirement, using the form entitled "Proposition d’admission à la préretraite pour travail posté ou travail de nuit" (Proposed early retirement from shift work or night work). This form is available on request from the MTEESS.

The form must be returned by post to the following address:

Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Économie sociale et solidaire
Service Préretraite
L-2939 Luxembourg

Processing of the application

The decision as to whether to approve early retirement is made by the Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy. A copy of that decision is sent to the employee.

Impact on working relationship

When the worker begins early retirement, the end of the normal working relationship is documented in a declaration of departure issued by the employer and sent to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale CCSS). In this declaration, the employer cites 'early retirement' as the reason for the worker's departure.

At the same time, the employer files a new declaration of onboarding of the person as an 'Employee on early retirement'.

Amount of the early retirement allowance

The monthly early retirement allowance is:

  • calculated on the basis of the average gross pay for the 12 months immediately preceding the granting of early retirement; and
  • capped at 5 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers.

Details of the amount of the early retirement allowance can be found on the information sheet 'Calculating the early retirement allowance'.

Expiry of right to early retirement benefit

The early retirement benefit:

  • cannot, in principle, be paid for more than 3 calendar years; and
  • ends at 63 years of age, at the latest.

Nevertheless, receipt of the early retirement benefit for shift workers or night workers can be extended to the age of 65 for workers who are not entitled to an early old-age pension, but cannot exceed 3 years in total.

Entitlement to the early retirement benefit automatically ends:

  • on the day when the person turns 63, thus becoming eligible for an old-age pension or an early old-age pension;
  • on the day when the person becomes entitled to a disability allowance;
  • on the day when the person taking early retirement dies;
  • if they practise, or resume, an activity which brings them an income which, over the course of a calendar year, exceeds (per month) half of the social minimum wage to which they are entitled.

Under no circumstances may early retirement be combined with any form of pension, paid by a pension provider in Luxembourg or abroad.

Good to know

For more information, please contact the Early Retirement Office at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de l'Économie sociale et solidaire):

Who to contact

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