NHS Pension Scheme Learning Zone (24)

Today we explore some of the transitional arrangements - in particular the full and tapered protection available to some members.

As part of the Government's reforms of all public section pensions - it was required that there was fair transitional arrangements put in place. Therefore it was agreed that those members who, at 1st April 2012, were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age would continue within their existing Pension section and would NOT be transferring to the new 2015 NHS Pension Scheme. This is known as Full Protection.

Provision was also made for members who, at 1st April 2012, were between 10 years and 13 years and 5 months from their Normal Pension Age. These members, depending upon their age, would eventually move to the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme. This is known as Tapered Protection.

1995 Section Full Protection

The current rules that require staff to retire completely, take all benefits and then be prohibited from further NHS Pension Scheme membership will continue to apply. This means that any members who would like to take their 1995 Section benefits and return to NHS employment, will NOT be able to rejoin the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.

All current members of the 1995 Section who, as at 1st April 2012, had 10 years or less to go before their Normal Pension Age, have full protection. This means they will continue in the 1995 Section and will NOT be moving to the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.

This protection is lost if the member has a break in pensionable service of over 5 years. In this situation, the returning member would rejoin the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme and their 1995 benefits would become deferred.

1995 Section Tapered Protection

Members who, as at 1st April 2012, are between 10 years and 13 years, 5 months from their Normal Pension Age will receive the more limited Tapered Protection.

The way that Tapered Protection works is that for evey month of age that you are beyond 10 years from your Normal Pension Age, you lose 2 months of protection. Then, at the end of the protection period, you will join the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme. If you are unsure on when exactly you will be joining the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme then get in touch.

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