Do I Get a Pension Working at the NHS? If so, How Does it Work?

Working for the NHS
April 1, 2022
Do I Get a Pension Working at the NHS? If so, How Does it Work?

You’ve secured a new, exciting job working for the NHS as a nurse, doctor etc. – but now you want to find out about the perks and benefits of the job. One benefit is being auto enrolled onto the NHS Pension Scheme – a pension scheme for those who work for NHS England and NHS Wales.

So what do you need to know about the NHS Pension Scheme and how it works?


The history of the NHS Pension Scheme

The scheme was originally created in 1948, however in 2015 anew NHS pension scheme came into effect.

Some of the main features of the new scheme are:

·       It’s now a defined scheme that provides pension benefits based on a fixed formula

·       It is a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE)scheme, rather than a final salary scheme – this is where benefits are built upon the value of pensionable earnings (annually) during your NHS career

·       Each year’s pension earned will increase each year in value by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1.5% per year

·       The age at which benefits can be claimed without reduction for early payment is the same age the new State Pension age (but can’t be lower than 65)

Find out more about the new NHS pension scheme here.


How the NHS Pension Scheme works

When you start working for the NHS, your employer or Pensions Officer will enrol you as a member of the scheme. Pension contributions will then begin to come out of your salary (which will be documented on your payslip).

Your NHS employer will then email you a copy of the relevant member guide (something like this) to help you understand the scheme rules.

When you join the NHS Pension Scheme, you get a membership number, also known as an SD number (your employer will give you this).

There are lots of benefits to the NHS Pension Scheme, some of which are:

·       Generous employer contributions

·       Family benefits

·       Ill health benefits

·       Advice on ways to increase your NHS pension

·       Flexibilities re: when you can take your pension

Here’s a video that explains all of the NHS Pension Scheme benefits.

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