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When you'll make your decision about your NHS Pension benefits

If you're affected by the changes to public service pension schemes – sometimes known as ‘McCloud’ or the Public Service Pension Remedy, you'll be asked if you would like to receive legacy scheme or reform scheme pension benefits for your membership between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022. This is called the remedy period.

We're aiming to start offering members this choice on retirement from summer 2024. If you're retiring before this date, we'll contact you and ask you to make your choice at a later time. We’ll provide you with information at the time to help you make your decision.

Asking you to make this choice when you retire means you’ll know exactly what you’re entitled to under each option. This will make it easier to decide what’s best for you.

Your service for the remedy period will be automatically moved into your legacy scheme until you’ve made your choice. This is called rollback. Read more about rollback.

For now, all our processes remain the same and there’s nothing you need to do. We’ll contact all affected members directly when action needs to be taken.

When to expect your McCloud choice communication if you're actively contributing to the Scheme

We recognise that members affected by the Public Service Pensions Remedy - also known as McCloud - want to know when they’ll be given their choice of pension benefits for their pensionable service for the McCloud remedy period, which is from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

The regulations for the McCloud remedy will come into effect on 1 October 2023, and we are working to offer eligible active members their choice at the point they retire from summer 2024.

When to expect your McCloud choice communication if you’ve already retired or retire before summer 2024

It will take time to contact eligible members who have already retired, and we’ll do this in phases, beginning with members who retired on ill health grounds from October 2023.

For eligible members who retired based on their age and the beneficiaries of members who have died since retiring, we’ll begin contacting them in stages from summer 2024.

For the majority of pensioner members, the choice is straightforward, so we’ll write to them first. This means we expect to have given around 70% of pensioner members and beneficiaries their choice by the end of 2024.

We expect to have contacted the vast majority of retired members by April 2025.

Everyone affected will be offered their choice and if needed, we’ll backdate all payments to your date of retirement.

If you’re planning your retirement now

For now, all our processes remain the same and you should make decisions on your retirement plans based on the existing scheme rules and what’s right for your current circumstances.

Once it’s time for you to make your decision about your benefits for the remedy period, we’ll provide you with information to help inform your decision.

We’ll also explain how it may affect the pension benefits you’re receiving.

We’ve been developing and testing our choice communications in collaboration with trade unions, employer and staff representatives, a variety of members and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) over the last year to ensure they’re as clear and helpful as members need them to be. We expect that in the vast majority of cases, this communication will be all members need to make an informed decision, and they will not need to pay for professional support to get their remedy.

You do not need to pay to get your McCloud choice

Some companies charge fees to help members with their McCloud choice. You do not need to use a paid service – doing this will not mean you’re given your choice any sooner or affect the options you have.

NHS Pensions will automatically contact all eligible members as soon as it is possible and give you the information you need to help you make your decision.

For the majority of members, their choice will be straightforward, and guidance will be provided to help them make an informed decision. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said that they expect only a small number of affected members will require support from an independent financial adviser or accountant regarding their McCloud remedy.  

Where the small number of members with particularly complex circumstances seek advice and the department agrees that this advice was required, there will be a scheme available to help them submit evidence and claim back the cost of this advice. We’ll publish more information about this in the coming months.  

Finding more information

If you have any questions, you’ll find more information on our knowledge base

Visit our Member Hub for information on applying for your pension and flexibilities within the NHS Pension Scheme to help you transition from work to retirement.