On 1 April 2015 a new NHS Pension Scheme was introduced which covers all transitioning and new NHS employees. Some members are entitled to remain in the 1995 or 2008 Sections until retirement through the Scheme’s Protection arrangements. The content of this website is being updated in stages to reflect these changes. More information about the 2015 Scheme arrangements can be found here.
Since 6 April 2006 there has been no absolute limit on the level of benefits that a member of a registered pension scheme, such as the NHS Pension Scheme, can be provided with. Instead you have a Lifetime Allowance (LTA) in respect of all your pension benefits before you become subject to a tax charge at the point of taking your benefits.
On 6 April 2014 the standard LTA reduced from £1.5m to £1.25m.
Without having a valid HMRC protection, your NHS pension benefits exceed £1.25 million at the following pension amounts:
- 1995 Section - £54,347
- 2008 Section - £62,500
- 2015 Scheme - £62,500
From 6 April 2016 the standard LTA will reduce to £1 million.
Without having a valid HMRC protection, your NHS pension benefits will exceed £1 million at the following pension amounts:
- 1995 Section - £43,478
- 2008 Section - £50,000
- 2015 Scheme - £50,000
These figures only relate to your NHS Pension Scheme benefits. If you have any pension in payment in addition to these, including NHS Money Purchase Additional Voluntary Contributions (MPAVC) you will need to take these into account.
Any benefits above the LTA will be subject to a LTA charge. The rate of tax charged will depend on whether the excess is taken as a pension or a lump sum. The LTA charge is:
- 55% if the excess is taken as a lump sum, and
- 25% where it is taken as taxable pension income.
Fixed Protection 2016 and Individual Protection 2016
The Government has announced that it is to offer new protections to members who could be impacted by the reduction of LTA to £1 million.
From 6 April 2016, there will be two more HMRC LTA protections available, these are:
- Fixed Protection 2016 (FP2016)
- Individual Protection 2016 (IP2016).
Applications for FP2016 and IP2016 will be online using a new HMRC online self service tool, which is expected to be available to members or their authorised representative from July 2016. No applications will be accepted by HMRC before 6 April 2016.
The following is a message from HMRC’s Pension Schemes Newsletter 73.
‘There will be a period between the new protection regimes becoming available in April 2016 and the introduction of the new online self-service in July 2016. For this period we will introduce an interim process for pension scheme members who want to take benefits before the introduction of the new online service. Scheme members will be able to write to HMRC between April 2016 and July 2016 and we will check the details of their protection and respond to the member in writing. This can then be presented to the scheme administrator in advance of the full application being made after July 2016.’
The link to Newsletter 73 is: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-schemes-newsletter-73-october-2015
To be able to apply for IP2016 you will need to request a valuation of all your pension benefits calculated to 5 April 2016. The process for obtaining an IP2016 valuation from NHS Pensions will be similar to the current process for Individual Protection 2014 (IP2014). The website will be updated with more information about this during March 2016.
At the time of publication the legislation reducing the LTA from £1.25m to £1m is not in place and the new methods of protection are not yet finalised.
NHS Pensions must advise caution, as there may be future changes and amendments made to the legislation, before the final drafting of the Finance Bill 2016 goes before Parliament and becomes the Finance Act 2016.
Individual Protection 2014
HMRC will accept applications for Individual Protection 2014 (IP2014) until 5 April 2017. They have published information about IP 2014 in Newsletter 58 on their website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/newsletter58.pdf
To claim IP2014 you will need an Individual Protection 2014 valuation of your NHS pension benefits, and all other pension providers, calculated to 5 April 2014. More information on how to apply for an IP2014 valuation of your NHS pension benefits is available in the Lifetime Allowance - Individual Protection 2014 factsheet.
Below is a list of application forms to apply for an IP2014 Valuation of your 1995/2008 NHS Pension Scheme benefits. Which form you should complete is dependant on whether you were a general practitioner or not in the NHS on 5 April 2014. If you were a practitioner with a concurrent hospital post please complete the form AW295 GP and NHS Pensions will obtain any information required from your hospital employer.
Potential cost of an IP2014 Valuation
Members are permitted to request one estimate or IP2014 Valuation in a 12 month period and NHS Pensions will provide this free of charge. However, if there has been more than one request then a charge will be payable. Details are included in the Schedule of Charges on the Requesting an Estimate page of the website. Charges are reviewed annually and will be subject to change.
Valuation request for Individual Protection 2014
AW295 IP Officer (Word)
AW295 IP Officer (PDF)
AW295 IP GP (Word)
AW295 IP GP (PDF)
Valuation request for Individual Protection 2016
AW295 IP2016 Officer
AW295 IP2016 GP
Loss of Enhanced and Fixed Protection 2012 and 2014 because of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme
The Lifetime Allowance
The Lifetime Allowance Charge
Lifetime Allowance reduction from 6 April 2016
Lifetime Allowance protections from 6 April 2016
Lifetime Allowance and Fixed Protection 2012
Lifetime Allowance and Fixed Protection 2014
Lifetime Allowance and Individual Protection 2014
Recycling of Pension Commencement Lump Sum
Lifetime Allowance 2012 – how this affect members with protection
Fixed Protection 2012 and Benefit Accrual
Joining or rejoining due to Auto enrolment and the effect on Enhanced or Fixed Protection
LTA Pension Terms Glossary
| For more information about Lifetime Allowance: