NHS Pension scheme and retirement

The NHS Pension is still likely to be the best pension you can access and remains one of the most comprehensive and generous schemes in the UK. We have outlined some facts below, the scheme:

  • contributes a total of 20.6% of your pensionable pay
  • is government-backed, secure and index-linked in retirement, benefits will increase each year during your retirement
  • gives a guaranteed income in retirement for the rest of your life
  • provides a spouse entitlement on members death
  • provides valuable protection for families including life assurance and a pension if members are too ill to work
  • comes with ill health and death-in-service benefits for active members
  • provides new employees with automatic membership

Proposed changes to pension scheme rules

The proposed amendments to the NHS pension scheme include:

  • new retirement flexibilities
  • aligning the timing of CPI inflation rates used for revaluing pension benefits and the annual allowance tax calculation
  • scheme access for primary care networks
  • technical updates to member contributions provisions


The Trust promote and encourage flexible retirement in order to help staff to continue working in the NHS for longer, by varying the nature or pattern of work in the lead-up to retirement This in turn maintains continuity of high-level care for patients and service users.

We also think it makes the Trust a great place to work by prioritising work life balance. Flexible retirement allows organisations and staff to be flexible about the age at which staff retire, the length of time staff take to retire, the nature and pattern of work in the lead up to final retirement.

The Trust offer the following flexibilities:

  1. Step down: Staff can step down to a different role, for example, to reduce the level of responsibility while remaining in NHS employment.
  2. Wind down: Staff can wind down to retirement by remaining in their current post but reduce the number of hours or days they work.
  3. Retire and return: Members can request to retire, claim their pension benefits and then return to NHS employment.
  4. Draw down: Members can take part of their pension benefits and continue in NHS employment
  5. Late retirement enhancement: Members can retire later than their normal pension age and have their pension benefits increased.
  6. Early retirement reduction buy out: Members or employers can pay additional contributions to buy out the reduction applied to the member's pension if they retire before their normal pension age.