In this section of the NHS Pension Scheme Learning Zone we will consider your options when leaving NHS employment or opting out of the Scheme.
Your options really depend upon whether you have less than 2 years membership or more than 2 years membership:
Less Than 2 Years Membership
- You are not allowed to leave your benefits and take a deferred pension
- You are allowed to transfer your benefits to another pension scheme (as long as you are under normal pension age)
- You can receive a refund of your pension contributions (minus tax relief)
More Than 2 Years Membership
- You can leave your benefits in the scheme and take a deferred pension
- You can transfer your benefits to another pension scheme (as long as you are under normal pension age)
- You cannot receive a refund of your pension contributions
Rejoining The Scheme
Remember the 1995 Section is now closed for new entrants however there maybe some specific situations where you would be allowed to re-join the 1995 Section - please contact us if in doubt.
1. Rejoining the Scheme Before Retirement
If you rejoin the Scheme after being a deferred member with a break of more than 12 months, your eventual benefits will be calculated whichever way is most beneficial to you. Either treating each period of membership seperately and adding the benefits together, or bringing all the membership together into one period and using the final salary method at retirement.
Clearly, if you are a GP, your earnings would continue as before and calculated at retirement.
2. Rejoining the Scheme After Retirement
Broadly, if you are in receipt of benefits from the 1995 Section of the Scheme you cannot then rejoin the Scheme. You may however, be able to join the 2008 Section of the Scheme after a waiting period.
If you are in receipt of the benefits from the 2008 Section of the Scheme you can rejoin the Scheme provided you take a 24 hour break from employment and are under 75 (as long as you have not reached your maximum of 45 years membership).