From 1 April 2022, all active members regardless of age will be members of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.
This change means that active members of the 1995/2008 Scheme will automatically move to the 2015 Scheme and start building up benefits in this Scheme.
Both the 1995 and 2008 Sections of the 1995/2008 Scheme will close on 31 March 2022 - but you will not lose any of the pension benefits you've already built up in this Scheme. They'll make up part of your benefits when you retire and the rest will be made up of any you earn in the 2015 Scheme from 1 April onwards.
This means that when you claim your pension, it could consist of up to three different parts of the NHS Pension Scheme.
How your pension benefits are calculated
During your career, you may have been a member of different NHS pension schemes. This means that when you claim your pension, your total monthly payment could be made up of any benefits you've earned in the 1995 Section, 2008 Section and the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.
You can claim these benefits at different times. You can start receiving your 1995 Section benefits without any reductions from age 60 (or 55 if you’re a Special Class member).
You can claim your 2008 Section benefits from age 65, and your 2015 Scheme benefits from age 65 or your state pension age, whichever is later.
When you take your pension, each month you’ll receive one monthly payment. This will include any benefits you have claimed from the 1995 Section and the 2008 Section and the 2015 Scheme.
You can find out more about how your pension benefits are calculated in each Section / Scheme in 1995/2008 member guide (PDF: 4.97MB) and 2015 member guide (PDF: 3.26MB).
You’ll keep any pension benefits you’ve earned in legacy schemes
If you are member of the 1995/2008 Scheme, you‘ll keep any service you have earned before 1 April 2022 in the legacy scheme and you’ll be able to access these benefits in the same way and at the same time as you can now.
You can find out more about when you can access your benefits on our applying for your pension webpage.
You will not lose your final salary link if you have one
You’ll also keep your final salary link for your 1995/2008 Scheme benefits, as long as you don't have a break in membership of more than 5 years. This means when it’s time to pay your 1995/2008 benefits, they’ll be calculated using your final salary at retirement.
If you've built up practitioner benefits these will be protected at retirement using arrangements equivalent to a final salary link, as long as you don't have a break in membership of more than 5 years.
Any pension benefits you earn on or after the 1 April 2022 will be in the reformed 2015 pension scheme
This makes sure the government’s aims of rewarding hardworking public servants, as well as making sure schemes are sustainable and affordable in the future, are met. Our understanding your benefits in the 2015 Scheme webpage explains more about the Scheme.
We're writing to all affected members
If you're currently a member of the 1995/2008 Scheme you will move to the 2015 Scheme on 1 April 2022 and we'll be writing to you in January 2022 with more information on the changes.
The letter will include more information on how the changes may affect:
Special Class or MHO status
The 2015 Scheme doesn't have a mental health officer (MHO) or Special Class provision. But if you have MHO or Special Class status now, it will be protected for any 1995 Section benefits you have for as long as you stay within the qualifying rules - and you'll still be able to claim your 1995 Section benefits from age 55 without any reduction.
Additional voluntary contributions for additional pension or added years
If you currently pay additional voluntary contributions, your payments will continue after you move to the 2015 Scheme from 1 April 2022. You can still pay additional contributions until the end of the contract, the day before a 12-month break begins, or the day you retire – whichever date is earliest.
If you’re currently a 1995 Section member and your chosen birthday has passed or is less than 6 months after you moved to the 2015 Scheme, we’ll write to you within 3 months of 1 April 2022 to explain how you could elect to have your AVC benefits paid without having to retire. You’ll then have 3 months to tell us what you’d like to do. We’ll share more information on this webpage once we start writing to affected members.
You can find out more about increasing your pension.
Applications for ill health retirement
If you apply for consideration for ill health retirement, if we receive your application by 31 March 2022 and you're still an active member of the pension scheme from 1 April 2022, your application will be considered against the qualifying rules for both the 1995/2008 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme.
If we receive your application after 31 March 2022 and you're still active from 1 April 2022, your application will be considered against the 2015 Scheme qualifying rules.
You can find out more about ill health retirement.
Annual allowance and lifetime allowance
If you're affected by the annual allowance, we’ll send you two pension savings statements for the tax year 2021/2022, so you can see how each part of your pension has grown. One statement will cover your pension growth in the 1995/2008 Scheme and the other will cover any pension you earn in the 2015 Scheme between 1 April 2022 and 5 April 2022.
If you have any lifetime allowance protection agreed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), this may be affected when you move into the 2015 Scheme. If you have enhanced or fixed protection, you should consider this carefully before 31 March 2022 because HMRC’s rules say you cannot keep these types of protection once you start contributing to the 2015 Scheme.
You can find out more about the impact on enhanced or fixed protection.
Finding more information
If you have any questions, you’ll find more information on our knowledge base. We update this regularly.
Read our 2015 Scheme member guide (PDF: 3.26MB) for more information on the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme, or visit our Member Hub.