NHSBSA NHS Pensions Retirement

When Can I Retire?

The 1995 section of the NHS Pension Scheme

The normal retirement age for most Scheme members is 60. But you can choose to retire before or after normal retirement age.

Retirement benefits are paid because you are retiring - not simply taking a break in employment. You therefore need to have a break of at least 24 hours in order to qualify for retirement benefits.

If you retire and then return to work in the NHS within one calendar month (jobs in the NHS totalling 16 hours or less a week are ignored for this purpose) your pension will normally be suspended and you may have to repay all or some of the pension you have received. You will be able to keep your lump sum.

You will need to apply for your retirement benefits. Your Pension Officer will give you the form AW8 you need. This form must be completed by you and your employer and received by NHS Pensions 3 months prior to your proposed retirement date to enable your benefits to be paid on time.

Members of the special classes have special retirement rights. They are members in certain employment categories who joined the Scheme and held that status before 6 March 1995. These are described in the Members Guide - SD Guide (PDF 1557kb).

You can choose to take voluntary early retirement at any time from minimum pension age. Minimum pension age is currently age 50, but if you joined the Scheme for the first time on, or after, 6 April 2006, or previously left the Scheme before 31 March 2000 with deferred benefits and rejoined again on, or after,  6 April 2006 your minimum pension age will increase to 55 with effect from 6 April 2010.

NHS Pensions will work out your benefits in the normal way but they will be reduced to cover the extra cost of being in payment longer. The reduction will also apply to those members with special class retirement rights if they retire, or otherwise leave the Scheme before age 55.

The impact of early retirement on your benefits, and other implications are set out in the Members Guide - SD Guide (PDF 1557kb).

The 2008 section of the NHS Pension Scheme

The normal retirement age for members of this Scheme is 65 but you can choose to retire before, or after this.

Retirement benefits are paid because you are retiring not simply taking a break in employment. You therefore need to have a break of at least 24 hours in order to qualify for all your retirement benefits.

You need to apply for your retirement benefits. Your Pension Officer will give you the form (AW8) you need. This form must be completed by you and your employer and received by NHS Pensions 3 months prior to your proposed retirement date to enable your benefits to be paid on time.

You can choose to take voluntary early retirement at any time from age 55. NHS Pensions will work out your benefits in the normal way but they will be reduced to cover the extra cost of being in payment longer.

You can use the ready reckoner on this website to work out the value of the benefits you will get on the retirement date you have chosen. Your dependants will still get any pension they are entitled to in full.

If you want to retire later than your 65th birthday your pension benefits will be increased by the application of late retirement factors. More information about late retirement factors will be published on this website when available.

Once you reach your 75th birthday you can no longer be a Scheme member and you will be entitled to receive your retirement pension from that date without a break in employment.