Preserving Your Benefits
If you leave NHS employment or decide to opt out the scheme before becoming entitled to receive retirement benefits and have over two years qualifying service, your benefits will be preserved and will be payable from normal pension age (60 in 1995 section or 65 in 2008 section).
Preserved benefits are calculated based on the service and salary at date of leaving NHS employment and will attract Pensions Increase from the date of leaving to take account of rises in the cost of living.
Your benefits will automatically be preserved if you have a disqualifying break of more than 12 months.
Preserved benefits may become payable before normal pension age if you become permanently incapable of any further employment due to ill-health reasons. However, before payment on these grounds can be made, your ill-health would have to be confirmed by our Medical Adviser.
If you are in the 1995 section with a normal pension age of 60 and have service after 30th March 2000 (including Preserved benefits), you may elect to receive reduced benefits after reaching age 50 (this rises to 55 if you are in the 2008 section) i.e. Voluntary Early Retirement with Actuarial Reduction (VERA). (Pensions awarded on early retirement do not attract pensions increase until age 55).
Members who have preserved benefits may rejoin the scheme at any time prior to normal pension age. This additional service may be linked with your preserved service, or if more advantageous, separate benefits will be awarded in respect of the additional service.
You may also request to preserve your benefits if through no fault of your own your pay is reduced. In this circumstance you can apply for the higher rate of pay to be protected for pension purposes. You must do this within three months of your pay reducing. On retirement, we will calculate your benefits as a whole using your most recent salary, or if more advantageous, as two separate pensions.