Pensions for NHS staff

We've had a few clients asking about the new NHS pension scheme that will come into effect from 1 April 2015. Those nearing retirement are understandably concerned that the changes will affect their future retirement income. On the other hand, individuals who are far from retirement want to know how their contributions will change. 

The current scheme

The current scheme is a defined benefit public service pension scheme which operates on a pay as you go basis.

Pension benefits are based on your final salary although pension for GPs and dentists are accrued on a career average basis.

The scheme is divided into 2 sections with different benefit structures: the 1995 section and the 2008 section. The section you're in will depend on when you joined the scheme.

What's changing?

The government has been consulting on the new scheme and is in the process of finalising the reforms.

Although we don't know the finer details yet we do know that:

  1. You will not lose any pension entitlements you have already built up.
  2. The new pension scheme will provide 'defined scheme related benefits'. These will be based on your average career earnings in the NHS rather than your final salary.
  3. Individuals who were within 10 years of retirement on 1 April 2012 will not move to the new scheme. Their pension arrangements will not change as a result of the new scheme.
  4. People within 13 years and 5 months of retirement will get partial protection of their pension. If you fall into this category you'll transfer to the new scheme between 2015 and 2022 depending on your age. Until then, you'll remain on your current scheme.
  5. The rules for joining and leaving will be the same as those for the 2008 section.
  6. How much you will have to contribute to your pension will depend on your age and salary. However, it's expected that most staff will have to pay more than at present.

We're here to help

Confused? Don't be. Call us on 01375 383 888 to talk to us about your NHS pension. You can also fill in our contact form or email

21 Lodge Lane
RM17 5RY

Tel: 01375 383888
Fax: 01375 391672