NHS Pension Scheme - NHS Business Services Authority

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NHS Pensions
If you would like to receive regular, important
information about NHS Pensions please join our
mailing list by emailing us at:
[email protected]
We will only contact you with information
about the NHS Pension Scheme and we will not
share your details with any third parties.
We take great care to ensure that all
information provided is correct at the time of
publication. However, you should be aware that
this does not give a complete or legally binding
statement of the law and the regulations which
govern the Scheme.
Nothing in this leaflet overrides the NHS
Pension Scheme Regulations which set out the
conditions of entitlement and determine the
rate at which Scheme benefits are payable. In
the event of any conflicting information, the
Scheme Regulations will prevail.
(V1) January/February 2015
NHS Pension Scheme
Important information
This leaflet provides important information
about the new 2015 NHS Pension Scheme
and other information relevant to your
pension. Please open it up and read it
Business Services Authority
NHS Pension Scheme contribution
rates from 2015/16
Tier boundaries and member contribution rates
will remain at the same level as 2014/15 until
March 20191. If your salary rises, you may move
into a higher contribution tier in which case the
percentage you pay will increase.
From 1 April 2015, Scheme employers will pay
an increased rate of contributions (14.3% of
your pensionable pay) towards your pension.
For more information about the Scheme’s
contribution rates please visit
Subject to Parliamentary approval. Please note that a
small change has been made to the boundary beween
tiers 4 and 5.
Changes to pension access
You may be aware of changes that the
Government plans to introduce from 6 April
2015 which will allow those aged over 55 to
have direct access to their pensions savings.
Please note that these changes only apply
to defined contribution schemes and will
therefore not apply to the NHS Pension
Scheme, or to Money Purchase Additional
Voluntary Contributions (MPAVCs) already in
payment. For more information please visit the
HMRC website: www.hmrc.gov.uk
A reminder
If you are eligible for Choice 2 you were sent
a letter by your employer between October
and December 2014. If you have decided to
move your 1995 Section benefits to the 2008
Section, you must let us know by Monday 16
March 2015.
You can do this by completing the response
form on the Choice 2 website at:
If you choose not to move your benefits, or
fail to complete the response form by the
deadline, they will remain in the 1995 Section.
Supporting information to help you make your
choice can also be found on the Choice 2
If you haven’t received a Choice 2 letter, and
believe you are eligible after checking the
criteria on our website, please contact us by
email or telephone ([email protected]
nhs.net / 0300 123 1601).
Pension scams are on the increase in the
UK with offers such as ‘one-off pension
investments’, ‘pension loans’ or ‘upfront cash’
all being used used to attract savers.
For most people, these offers will be bogus
and those who take part will probably lose
their pension savings and may be subject to
tax charges for transferring out and making an
‘unauthorised payment’.
The Pensions Regulator has published new
guidance to raise awareness of pension scams.
You can access this at:
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act
Changes have been made to the NHS Pension
Scheme related to the Marriage (Same Sex
Couples) Act 2013. These are:
• From March 2014, survivor benefits have
been introduced for same sex spouses.
• From December 2014, Civil partners can
convert their partnership into a marriage,
and couples can remain married and
suffer no loss of surviving adult dependant
pension if one or both of them changes
legal gender.
For full details please refer to our website at:
- Important information
NHS Pension arrangements are changing from
1 April 2015 through the introduction of a
new Scheme. Most existing members will
automatically move into the new 2015 Scheme
on or after this date.
A. What are the main features of the
2015 NHS Pension Scheme?
• It is a Career Average Revalued Earnings
(CARE) scheme, rather than a final salary
scheme, where benefits are built up based
on the value of your pensionable earnings
each year during your NHS career.
• This is still a type of defined benefit scheme
which provides pension benefits based on a
fixed formula.
• The pension build up rate is 1/54th of
pensionable earnings in each year, with
no limit on the number of years’ earnings
which are taken into account. This rate is
higher than the current Scheme.
• Pension benefits built up by active members
in the 2015 Scheme are revalued each year
at the rate of inflation plus 1.5% per year
to maintain their value.
• The Normal Pension Age (NPA) is the same
as your State Pension age or 65, whichever
is later. This is the age at which benefits
can be claimed without reduction for early
B. Will I move to the 2015 Scheme?
It depends on your age on 1 April 2012 and
your membership status.
• If you were more than 13 years and 5
months from your NPA in the 1995/2008
Scheme on 1 April 2012, you will move to
the 2015 Scheme on 1 April 2015.
• If you were more than 10 years, but not
more than 13 years and 5 months from
your NPA in the 1995/2008 Scheme on 1
April 2012 then you will move to the 2015
Scheme at a later date. If this applies to
you then you are known as a member with
‘Tapered Protection’ (there is a calculator
on our website which will help you work
out what date you will move to the 2015
• If you were 10 years or less from your
NPA (or you had already reached it) in
the 1995/2008 Scheme on 1 April 2012,
you will not join the 2015 Scheme. If this
applies to you then you are known as a
‘Protected’ member and you will remain in
the 1995/2008 Scheme until you retire or
leave the Scheme.
C. If I move to the 2015 Scheme, what will happen to the
pension benefits I have already
built up?
These benefits will not be affected. You will still
be able to access them on a final salary basis
at your current NPA in the 1995/2008 Scheme
(at 55, 60 or 65 as appropriate) if you continue
your membership of the NHS Penson Scheme
until you retire.
To access your benefits, you will need to retire
from your current post. If you decide to return
to NHS employment after accessing your
benefits, there are a number of rules about
whether you can build up more benefits in the
2015 Scheme. For more information please visit
our website: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pensions
On our website we have provided
a range of tools and more
information to help you understand
your pension:
Understanding these new arrangements
In partnership with the Department of Health,
NHS Employers and NHS Trade Unions, we are
developing a range of materials and tools to
help you understand how you are affected by
these changes.
We will update the content of our website to
include the materials listed below and further
information about the changes:
Membership identifier
The membership identifier will help you identify
what type of member you currently are, and
how the introduction of the 2015 Scheme will
affect you.
Online videos
We will produce a series of videos to help you
understand how the NHS Pension Scheme is
changing. These cover:
• changes to the NHS Pension Scheme
• features and benefits of the 2015 Scheme
• information for those moving into the 2015
Scheme who have pension benefits in the
1995/2008 Scheme.
Scheme information
A guide will be available about the new 2015
Scheme and separate information explaining
the impact for those moving into the 2015
Scheme who have pension benefits in
1995/2008 Scheme.
Ask Us
You can also use our
online knowledge base
‘Ask Us’ to answer any
questions you have about
your NHS Pension. Follow
the link on the homepage
of our website:
Do you hold an enhanced or
fixed protection certificate
from HMRC?
If you hold Enhanced Protection, Fixed
Protection 2012 or Fixed Protection
2014 from HMRC it will be invalidated
if you contribute to the new 2015 NHS
Pension Scheme.
If this affects you, please visit the
Lifetime Allowance section of our
website for more information at:
Securing tomorrow, today