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NHS Pension Scheme – Frequently Asked Questions

This information paper answers Frequently Asked Questions arising prior to the introduction of the new NHS CARE (Career Average Revalued Earnings) pension scheme in April 2015:

  1. When will the new NHS pension scheme come into effect?
  2. What happens when I retire?
  3. What are the terms of protection for members?
  4. What is the option to opt out of protection for 2008 section members?
  5. Does protection continue after your current normal pension age if you are less than 10 years from retirement (in 2012 I will be 54 and have a NPA of 60)?
  6. What happens if I am not fully protected?
  7. I am a member of the 1995 section. When I reach my current NPA will I be able to take my existing final salary pension and continue working and accrue benefits in the new scheme?
  8. I am a member of the 1995 section. Can I retire; take my pension and return to work?
  9. I am a member of the 1995 section and have special class status. What is my position if I return to work?
  10. What if I am a member of the 2008 section?
  11. How does CARE work?
  12. What does revaluation in line with CPI + 1.5% mean?
  13. I am a part time worker. Is the accrual rate the same as for full time staff and is my pension based on my part-time salary or the whole-time equivalent?
  14. How much more will I have to contribute to the pension scheme?
  15. If an annual increment in my pay takes me over a contribution band part way through a year, when will my contribution rate change? Will it be from the start of the next month or from the start of the next year when the contribution level is looked at again?
  16. Will the choice exercise be reopened as a consequence of the new pension proposals?
  17. What is the maximum length of time you can be a scheme member for?
  18. How do I know when my state pension age (SPA) is?
  19. With all these changes should I leave the pension scheme?
  20. I am not currently working in the NHS but have pension scheme benefits built up from previous NHS service. What is my position?
  21. Does the final salary scheme count service in whole years or do days count as well?
  22. I currently pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). Will I pay the additional contribution rate increase on this element of my pension?
  23. I am already paying 9% due to added years. Will my added years stop or will I be contributing more than 9% when contributions rates are increased?
  24. What is happening to Added Years and Additional Pension Arrangements?
  25. What happens to me if I am already over the NPA for my scheme in 2015? Will I immediately join the new scheme if I continue working?
  26. How will the scheme changes affect me?
  27. I work for the NHS in Northern Ireland. What about my pension?
  28. And Scotland?

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