Joining the Scheme (and Auto-Enrolment)

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Joining the Scheme

To be eligible to join the NHS Pension Scheme you need to be between the ages of 16 and 75 and you must be directly employed by the NHS.

Upon joining the NHS Pension Scheme you should be issued with a Scheme Guide by your employer. Pension contributions will automatically be deducted from your salary and these will be shown on your payslip.

Your benefits as a Scheme member include (subject to Scheme eligibility): 

  • NHS Pension benefits are fully guaranteed by Government 
  • In addition to your member contributions, your NHS employer also contributes the equivalent of 14% of your pensionable pay towards your Scheme benefits 
  • The contributions paid are based on your pay before tax, therefore you receive tax relief on the contributions paid 
  • The annual pension is payable for life and is increased each year in line with Consumer Pricing Index (CPI) 
  • Tax free lump sum upon retirement for member’s of the 1995 Section 
  • The option to give up part of your pension in order to claim a bigger lump sum in the 1995 Section 
  • Members of the 2008 Section have the option of giving up part of their pension to receive a lump sum 
  • Death in service life assurance lump sum 
  • Pension benefits payable to dependants including children 
  • Ill health retirement benefits 
  • Option to buy additional pension 
  • Option to transfer previous pension benefits into the Scheme

For more information about the NHS Pension Scheme and its benefits please refer to the Scheme Guide available on our Homepage or the Members Hub section of the website.


For information about Auto Enrolment please see the Auto Enrolment factsheet