Useful information with regard to maximum pensionable membership and age restrictions for both 1995 Section and 2008 Section.
The following information applies when membership spans 1st April 2008.
1. Mental Health Officer (MHO) and Special Class (SC) Members
- Members are restricted to 40 years pensionable membership at age 55 and 45 years overall.
- Where maximum 45 years pensionable membership is reached before age 60 you must continue to pay contributions until age 60 unless you opt out of the Scheme or retire and claim you pension benefits.
- Where maximum 45 years pensionable membership is reached after 60 but before age 65 you must cease paying contributions when 45 years membership is achieved.
- You must cease to pay contributions at age 65 regardless of the amount of pensionable membership you have achieved.
2. Non MHO/SC Members
- Membership must be restricted to 40 years pensionable membership at age 60 or 40 years pensionable membership at 1 April 2008 - whichever occurs first.
- When 40 years pensionable membership was reached earlier than age 60/1 April 2008 contributions continued until age 60/1 April 2008 unless you opted out of the scheme. If you then continue in pensionable employment, without opting out of the scheme or retiring, contributions are payable until you complete 45 years pensionable membership.
- If you did not reach the 40 year limit above, unless you opt out or retire, contributions must be paid until 45 years pensionable membership is completed or you reach age 75, whichever is earlier.
3. ALL 1995 Section Members
- If you cease to contribute to the scheme due to attaining maximum pensionable membership or age you are classed as being in membership if any life assurance or family benefits become payable before retirement. Benefits are usually calculated based on the best of the last three years pensionable pay at the date contributions ceased.
- All members should note that if they opt out due to having achieved maximum pensionable membership, their benefits will be calculated using the best of the last three years pensionable pay at the opt out date. Also, in the event of a member's death before retirement, any life assurance or family benefits would be lower than if they were a contributing member.
- You can accrue 45 years pensionable membership in total.
- If you achieved 45 years pensionable membership and continue in NHS employment you can, if you wish, continue to pay contributions into the Scheme.
- In order to continue contributing you must notify your employer and NHS Pensions in writing during the three month period before maximum 45 years pensionable membership is achieved.
- Contributions can then be paid until you opt out, retire and claim you pension benefits, or reach age 75.
- If you have ceased to contribute because you have attained 45 years pensionable membership you are classed as being in membership if any life assurance or family benefits become payable before retirement. Benefits are calculated based on the reckonable pay up to the date contributions ceased.
- If you have elected to contribute to the scheme after you have attained 45 years pensionable membership, any benefits payable will be assessed taking into account the reckonable pay up to the date you cease contributing to the Scheme/retire. Pension benefits will be calculated using the most beneficial 45 years.
Members with entitlement in both the 1995 and 2008 Sections
- Where a member has entitlement to benefits in both sections of the scheme, the limit is 45 years pensionable membership in total across both sections.
- Membership which counts as qualifying in the 1995 section will count as qualifying in the 2008 section for members with entitlement to benefits in both sections of the scheme.