In this section of the learning zone we explore the main implications for members in the 1995 and 2008 Sections of the NHS Pension Scheme who do not have Protection.
All members who do not have full protection will move to the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme on 1st April 2015 or upon first returning to NHS employment after that date or have only tapered protection and their protection period has ended.
All benefits earned under the 1995 and 2008 Sections up to the date the member transfers to the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme are protected and those past benefits will be calculated using the final salary when they leave the 2015 Pension Scheme.
This 'Final Salary Linking' applies until the member retires or takes a break from NHS Pensionable Service of more than 5 years. Therefore for members taking a break over 5 years the final salary link will be up to the last day of pensionable employment BEFORE their break started.
All benefits earned under the 1995 and 2008 Sections up to 31st March 2015 are protected and calculated under the relevant rules of each section.
Currently, practitioners already have their pensions calculated under the Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) system. From 1st April 2015, GPs will move to the CARE arrangements common to all members and share the same accrual rate of 1/54th of each year's pensionable earnings.
As now, all members can claim their full 1995 and 2008 NHS pension benefits at 60 and 65 respectively.
Members who leave NHS employment and cease NHS Pension Scheme membership can take their benefits early with reduction.
If a member becomes entitled to an ill-health pension whilst in the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme, the 'final salary link' will be maintained in order to claim for previous 1995 and 2008 benefits accrued.
If a member dies whilst an active member of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme, then a lump sum death benefit will be paid by the scheme. Any dependant benefits will include benefits accrued under the 1995 and 2008 Sections.
Re-Employment of 1995 Section Members After Retirement
Members must leave NHS employment to take their 1995 Section pension benefits. Additionally, members who claim their 1995 Section benefits will not be able to accrue any additional benefits in the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.
Benefits for most 1995 Section members can be payable from 50 (with actuarial reduction). 2015 NHS pension benefits can be taken at the same time as the 1995 benefits with reduction or can be deferred until State Pension Age.