gototopgototop

Leaving the Scheme

Q. Can I transfer my benefits out of the NHS scheme?

A. If you leave the NHS scheme, you may be able to transfer your benefits out of the scheme to:

      
       • Another occupational pension scheme;
       • A personal pension scheme;
       • An insurance company to buy an annuity contract; or
       • A self employed pension arrangement.

Q. What if I decide to leave the scheme or the NHS?

A. If you are considering leaving the scheme but staying in your job, please make sure you fully understand what you are giving up. Before making your final decision, speak to your employer and seek independent financial advice.

• If you leave your job or decide to leave the scheme.

• If you have been in the scheme for less than two years you can have a refund of the contributions you have paid provided you are under age 60 when you leave. Tax and National Insurance contributions will be deducted from the refund before it is paid to you. Refunds are not available to anyone who joins the scheme after age 60.

•  If you have been in the scheme for two or more years, you can leave your benefits with the scheme. These are called preserved benefits. Their value is maintained and they are normally paid to you at age 60.

•  You may be able to transfer the benefits you have earned in the scheme to another pension arrangement.

•  If you have reached retirement age and decide to leave the scheme but carry on working, you will not be able to claim your retirement benefits until your employment ends.

•  If you move to employment elsewhere in the NHS, you can stay in the scheme and your benefits will continue to build up.

•  If you move to non-NHS employment in a University Medical School, a Hospice or a charity that provides services to the NHS in Scotland or undertake short term voluntary work overseas, you may be able to retain your membership of the NHS Scheme on transfer from previous employment. This is possible under the powers of Sections 7(1) & 7(2) of the Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967. For full details go to our Direction Bodies page.

Q. Will my benefits be affected if I move to the employment of a Direction Body?

A. If you move to non-NHS employment in a University Medical School, a Hospice or a charity that provides services to the NHS in Scotland or undertake short term voluntary work overseas, you may be able to retain your membership of the NHS Scheme on transfer from previous employment. This is possible under the powers of Sections 7(1) & 7(2) of the Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967 which give Scottish Ministers discretion to grant a direction arrangement.

The direction is limited in that it gives employees access to a basic pension, retiring allowance, ill-health and death benefits but does not give access to other benefits which would incur employer's financial liability, for example, enhanced early retirement pension due to redundancy.

Employees who join the Scheme under a direction are not normally covered by the separate but related National Health Service (Compensation for Premature Retirement) (Scotland) Regulations or the National Health Service (Scotland) (Injury Benefits) Regulations.

For full details go to our Direction Bodies page.

Q.    Could I rejoin the NHS scheme?

A.    If you are working in the NHS, you may rejoin the scheme at any time unless you are:

• On sick leave

• Absent from duty for any other reason; or

• Receiving scheme benefits (unless you retired on ill-health grounds and would be rejoining the scheme before age 50).

 

Link to Scottish Government Website