Pension contributions are a mandatory requirement for all NHS employees, as per the
established guidelines. The NHS also makes its own contributions towards the pension scheme.
However, if an individual chooses to opt out of the NHS pension scheme, they may do so by
directly contacting the pensions department. The age at which individuals can retire and start
receiving pension benefits is determined by their State Pension Age, which is based on their
year of birth. NHS Pension contributions are deducted prior to the calculation and deduction of
taxes and National Insurance.
NHS Pension contributions are changing. In August 2022, NHS Pension members received
letters detailing the upcoming changes. To facilitate a smooth transition, the changes have been
divided into two phases. The first change took effect on October 1st, 2022, while the details of
the second change, which takes into account the recent 5% pay award.
NHS Pension Contributions Chart And Table:
|Earnings from||Earnings to||Oct 1st 22||Possible (TBC) Apr 1st 23|
NHS Pension Changes Examples:
Let's take a look at the impact of these changes on different pay points within the NHS pension
scheme. For instance, an individual on the first pay point of Band 5, earning £27,055 annually,
previously contributed 7.1% towards their pension. However, starting from October 1st, 2022,
their contribution rate increased to 7.7%, and it is proposed to further increase to 8.3% from
April 1st, 2023.
Moving on to Band 2, individuals at the first pay point paid 5.6% towards their pension prior to
the changes. Following the adjustments, their contribution rate will be 6.1% starting from
October 2022, and it will rise to 6.5% from April 1st, 2023. This reflects an increase of just under
1% compared to the previous rate.
On the other hand, employees earning over £72,031 (Band 8C) previously contributed 13.5%
towards their pension. However, from April 1st, 2023, their contribution rate will be reduced to
12.5%, resulting in a 1% decrease compared to before.
For those who are contributing more towards their pension, there will be additional tax relief.
However, it's important to note that the increased pension contributions will lead to a reduction
in net pay.
It's worth mentioning that there are three types of NHS Pension schemes: the new one
introduced in 2015, as well as a combination of the older schemes (1995 and/or 2008).
Individuals who had 10 years or less before reaching retirement were allowed to remain on the older pension schemes, whether it be the 1995 or 2008 scheme. Regardless of the pension
scheme in place, the contribution rates remain the same.
NHS 1995 Pension:
The final salary pension is a valuable retirement benefit that becomes accessible from the age
of 60, although certain individuals with special status, such as those covered by the Mental
Health Act, may be eligible to retire at 55. The calculation of this pension is based on a formula
that involves several factors.
To determine your final salary pension, your current salary is divided by 80. The resulting figure
is then multiplied by the number of days you have worked or earned within the pension scheme.
Finally, this figure is divided by 365, representing the number of days in a year. This calculation
provides an estimation of the annual pension amount you will receive from the date of your
retirement until the end of your life.
1995 Pension Example:
Let's take a look at Pete's situation. Pete has dedicated 20 years of his career to working for the
NHS, which equals 7,305 days of service. Currently, his annual salary stands at £80,000. In
order to estimate his potential pension, Pete begins by dividing his annual salary of £80,000 by
80, resulting in £1,000. Next, he multiplies this figure by the number of days he has worked,
7,305, and then divides the result by 365.25, which represents the number of days in a year,
accounting for leap years.
Based on these calculations, Pete estimates that his annual pension would amount to around
£20,000, which translates to approximately £1,666.00 per month. While Pete believes his
calculations are accurate, he acknowledges their approximate nature and intends to verify them
by consulting a trained NHS pension advisor from his workplace.
In addition to the regular pension, the 1995 pension scheme also offers a one-time lump sum
payment. Typically, this lump sum is equivalent to approximately three times the calculated
pension amount. Using the example above, the lump sum for Pete would be around £60,000.00.
NHS 2008 Pension
The 2008 NHS pension scheme shares similarities with the 1995 NHS pension, as it also
calculates your pension based on your salary. However, there is a notable difference: the 2008
scheme considers the best salary earned over the past 10 years, rather than relying solely on
your final salary.
Unlike the 1995 scheme, the 2008 NHS pension does not offer a lump sum payment.
Nevertheless, the calculation itself differs, utilizing a 1/60th fraction instead of the 1/80th fraction
used in the 1995 scheme. This means that the 2008 scheme provides a larger pension amount.
Additionally, it's worth noting that with the 2008 Pension, you have the option to receive a
portion of your calculated pension as a lump sum.
These distinctive features set the 2008 NHS pension scheme apart, offering a different
approach to calculating pension benefits and providing flexibility in choosing how to receive your
2008 Pension Example
Suppose Pete is enrolled in the 2008 NHS pension scheme and wishes to estimate his potential
pension. To begin, he would divide his yearly salary of £80,000 by 60, resulting in £1,333.00.
Next, Pete would multiply this amount (£1,333.00) by the number of days he has worked, which
is 7,305. He would then divide this figure by 365, yielding an estimated annual amount of
£26,684.93 or £2,223.74 per month. It's important to note that while this calculation results in a
higher pension amount compared to the 1995 scheme, the 2008 NHS pension does not include
a lump sum payment. However, individuals have the option to decrease their annual salary in
order to receive a lump sum upon retirement.
It is essential to consider that this calculation assumes that Pete's £80,000 yearly salary
represents his best annual salary within the last 10 years.
Furthermore, a significant difference with the 2008 Pension is that it does not fully mature until
the age of 65. This implies that Pete would need to wait an additional 5 years in order to receive
his full pension benefits.
These factors illustrate the key distinctions associated with the 2008 NHS pension scheme,
including the absence of a lump sum payment, the use of a 1/60th calculation fraction, and the
requirement to wait until the age of 65 to access the full pension amount.
NHS 2015 Pension:
The 2015 NHS pension scheme operates on an annual basis, reflecting your yearly earnings.
Each year, 1/54th of your annual salary is allocated to your pension pot. It's important to note
that retirement under this scheme is only possible once you reach the State Pension Age, which
currently varies depending on your date of birth. The State Pension Age ranges from 66 to 68
years, depending on individual circumstances.
Let's consider Pete, as mentioned previously, who earned £80,000 annually throughout his
20-year tenure in the NHS. In this hypothetical scenario, Pete's annual pension amount would
be £29,629.63 (calculated as £80,000 divided by 54 and multiplied by 20). However, it's crucial
to remember that this is merely an example, as it is highly unlikely that Pete would earn the
exact same amount each year. Additionally, the 1/54th portion added each year is adjusted in
line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), with an additional 1.5% to account for inflation. This
adjustment ensures that the pension keeps pace with the cost of living.
The 2015 NHS pension scheme does not include a lump sum payment as a standard feature.
However, individuals have the option to choose to receive a portion of their pension as a lump
sum, providing flexibility in accessing their pension benefits.
These are the fundamental aspects of the 2015 NHS pension scheme, which emphasizes
annual contributions based on earnings, retirement eligibility tied to the State Pension Age, and
the option to take a lump sum from the pension.
Death in Service
Every individual employed in the NHS is entitled to a death in service benefit. This valuable
provision ensures that if you pass away while actively working for the NHS, your nominated
spouse, partner, legal representative, or chosen beneficiary will receive a payment equivalent to
twice your annual salary. Essentially, this benefit serves as a form of life insurance, offering
financial protection and support to those left behind in the event of an employee's untimely
demise. It is a significant and reassuring feature that provides peace of mind for the majority of