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In this area of the website we explain what happens if you leave the scheme before you retire.

When working how much service you have built up, remember to include any membership you have earned in either the 1995 or 2008 sections of the NHS Pension scheme. If you have transferred in benefits from a previous scheme you will automatically be treated as having completed more than two years’ service.

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I have been in the scheme for less than three months

If you leave the scheme within three months of joining, your only option is to take a refund of your contributions less deductions. You will have no benefits remaining in the scheme.

I have been a scheme member for between three months and two years

  • You have an option to take a refund of contributions less deductions.You will have no benefits remaining in the scheme.

  • You have an option to transfer your scheme benefits.However, you must join your new scheme within 12 months of leaving the NHS and have applied for a transfer within 12 months of joining your new scheme.

For further information on Transfers you can watch a video here

I have been a scheme member for at least two years

If you leave the scheme with at least two years' service you have a choice. You can either:

  • Leave your benefits in the scheme. Your pension will be revalued annually in line with increases in the Consumer Prices Index.
  • Transfer your benefits to another public sector pension scheme - if, for example, you take up a post in another part of the UK.

For further information on Transfers you can watch a video here

I'm taking a career break

When you leave the scheme your pension will be revalued annually in line with increases in the Consumer Prices Index.

If you re-join the scheme within five years of leaving, we will revisit your pension pots and revalue them inline with CPI plus 1.5%.

If you were originally a member of either the NHS 1995 or 2008 sections of the NHS Pension Scheme you may, in some situations, return to your original section. For more information, please read the Guide to the NHS 2015 scheme and the Guide for members who joined before 1 April 2015.
 

I'm taking up a post in another part of the UK

You are only able to remain a member of the NHS 2015 scheme while you are based in Scotland. If you take up a post in another home nation you will have to leave the scheme and join the arrangement offered in that country.

If you wish to maintain CPI plus 1.5% increases on your pension pot, you will need to transfer your NHS 2015 benefits into your new scheme.

For further information on Transfers you can watch a video here

Leaving the scheme but still working for the NHS

While membership of the scheme is automatic, it is not compulsory. You can choose to opt out at any time after joining by completing an Opt out form.

If you opt out of the scheme, if you continue to meet certain conditions, your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme in every three years.

You can re-join the scheme at any time by contacting your employer.

Before making any decision to opt out of the NHS scheme, you should compare the cost of your options and the package of benefits provided by the scheme. Advice can be sought from an independent financial adviser or your professional association.


My Pension online services

If you have a question about your benefits you may be able to find the information you’re looking for instantly by viewing your details securely online. MyPension Online Access

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