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NHS Choice 1995 Section

When the new NHS 2015 pension scheme was introduced, SPPA wrote to all members to let them know how they are affected by the introduction of the new scheme. Members who were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 60*(*55 for special class/Mental Health Officer - MHO) on 1 April 2012 are eligible for full protection of pension arrangements in their existing scheme and will not move to the new 2015 pension scheme

If you do not have full protection

If you were more than 10 years away from your NPA of 60*(*55 for special class/MHO) on 1 April 2012, you are not fully protected and will move to the new 2015 pension scheme between 1 April 2015 and 1 February 2022. The 2015 scheme has a NPA equal to your individual state retirement pension age, which could be up to age 68.

This means that you will have 2 parts to your pension at retirement. Part 1 will be the pension you have built up to the date you move to the new 2015 Scheme – this is known as 'preserved rights'. Part 2 will be your 2015 scheme pension from the date you move to the new 2015 scheme up to your retirement.

It was agreed that members who are not fully protected would be offered a further choice about their pension arrangements later in 2015.

Why are you being given this choice?

A few years ago you were given a choice to move all your pension benefits from 1995 section to 2008 section. Members who decided to keep their benefits in the 1995 section may have intended to retire at their normal pension age 60* (*55 for special classes/MHO).

As a result of the new 2015 scheme, members of the 1995 section who are not fully protected will now move to the new 2015 scheme on, or after 1 April 2015. The new 2015 scheme introduced new arrangements to the way you build up your pension and has a higher NPA, which can be up to age 68. Members like you are now being given another opportunity to move your preserved rights up to 31 March 2015, from the 1995 section to 2008 section. We are giving you this option as it is possible that your preserved rights could give you a bigger pension in the 2008 section, but you must be aware that it will not be payable in full until age 65.

The 2008 section also provides more flexibility about phased retirement, returning to work after retirement and re-joining the pension scheme. However, whether you will benefit depends on your personal circumstances and retirement plans.

The way your pension builds up in the 1995 section and the 2008 section is different and is based on each year of your membership. Here is a comparison between the two pension arrangements:

Feature

1995 section

2008 section

Type of pension

Based on service and final salary at retirement

Based on service and final salary at or near retirement

Normal pension age

60* or *55 if special class/MHO status

65

Pension build up (accrual) – Officer members

1/80th of final salary

for length of scheme membership

lump sum 3 times pension amount

 

1/60th of final salary

for length of scheme membership

(no automatic lump sum but you can give up pension at the rate of £1 pension to each £12 lump sum)

Pension build up (accrual) – Practitioner members

1.4% of total uprated practitioner earnings

 

lump sum 3 times pension amount

 

 

Officer membership can be converted to Practitioner membership if more favourable

1.87% of total uprated practitioner earnings

 

(no automatic lump sum but you can give up pension at the rate of £1 pension to each £12 lump sum)

 

Officer membership can be converted to Practitioner membership if more favourable

Where can I get more information?

You can find more information including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and case studies to provide illustrations of how opting to move 1995 section benefits to 2008 section may work for example members.

When will I receive my 1995 Section Choice?

If you are eligible for this 1995 Section Choice exercise, we will be issuing statements to members starting in December 2015. If you are a General Medical (GP) or Dental practitioner you will receive your Choice statement at a later date.

You will be given 4 months to consider all the information on your letter, statement and this website. If you wish to move your preserved rights from 1995 Section to 2008 Section, you must reply by the date shown on your letter.

Members who opt to move their preserved rights benefits to 1995 section will move to the 2015 scheme, backdated to 1 April 2015.

If you do not reply you will move to 2015 scheme on or after 1 April as previously notified. If you have tapered protection, you will keep this and move to 2015 scheme at the end of this period.

NOTE:SPPA has attempted to contact all eligible members to provide them with details of 1995 Section Choice. However, if you think you are eligible for the 1995 Section Choice and you have not received a statement by 31 January 2016, please contact us by e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name, reference number and current address, including postcode, and we will investigate your membership records.

Link to Scottish Government Website