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Applying for your pension

Read the Retirement Guide (PDF: 1.62MB) before applying for your pension. A printable version (PDF: 2.40MB) is also available.

When you can apply

The normal pension ages in the NHS Pension Scheme are: 

NHS Pensions Normal Pension Age

You can retire earlier or later depending on the rules of the Section or Scheme you are in.

The NHS Pension Scheme overview (PDF: 290KB) provides more detail about each Scheme. 

What happens if you are a member of more than one Scheme

Read the Scheme protection factsheet (PDF: 210KB) for more information.

What you will get

There are different types of retirement.


1995 Section

You will receive a pension and retirement lump sum based on the best of your last three years’ pensionable pay.

2008 Section

You will receive a pension based on your reckonable pay. Your reckonable pay is the average of the best three consecutive years’ pay in the last 10.

2015 Scheme

You will receive the total of the pension built up and revalued whilst you have contributed to this Scheme.


Before you apply

 Read the age retirement factsheet (PDF: 179KB) for more information about how your NHS pension is calculated.



The earliest age that you can draw your pension is known as the minimum pension age.


An early retirement pension is reduced because it is being paid early and for longer than if you retired at your normal pension age. The amount of reduction depends on how many years before normal pension age the pension is being claimed.

1995 Section

If you joined the 1995 Section before 6 April 2006 you can choose to take early retirement from age 50.


If you joined the 1995 Section on or after 6 April 2006 your minimum pension age is 55. If you returned to the Scheme after this date this may also apply to you.

2008 Section

The minimum pension age is 55.

2015 Scheme

The minimum pension age is 55.

Before you apply

Read the early retirement factsheet (PDF: 77KB) for more information about retiring early.



If you are retired prematurely because of redundancy or in the interests of the efficiency of the service, your benefits may be paid immediately.

Before you apply

Read the redundancy retirement factsheet (PDF: 107KB) for more information.


Ill health

If you have at least two years’ membership and are too ill to work in your present job you may be able to retire early and take your pension benefits.




There are flexibilities in the Schemes that will help you make the transition from work to retirement. For more information please read the 1995/2008 Member Guide or the 2015 Member Guide.

Retirement lump sums

You may be able to take some of your pension as a lump sum.


You can use the Pension Commutation Calculator (Excel: 20.1KB) you what you may receive if you choose to give up (or 'commute') some of their pension in return for a lump sum on retirement. If you would like to model pension commutation amounts using the pension commutation calculator, you should only input benefit figures provided by NHS Pensions.


For more information please read the Retirement Guide.

One off lump sum (trivial commutation)

Read the following factsheet for information about the possibility of converting a small amount of pension into a one off lump sum payment.

Trivial commutation factsheet (PDF: 89KB)

How to apply

Watch this video if you are an active member:

Watch this video if you are a deferred member:

You can also follow the retirement process in our flowcharts for active members (PDF: 78.3KB) and deferred members (PDF: 62.9KB).

Bank payment details if you live abroad

Please read the bank payments overseas factsheet (PDF: 68.4KB) before completing the relevant form. 



Returning to work after you have received your pension

Watch these videos to understand the impact on your pension if you decide to return to work.

For more information read these factsheets:


Returning to work following your retirement (PDF: 125KB)

Returning to work following ill health retirement (PDF: 130KB)

Pension supporting information

For additional information about your annual pension please read the factsheet that applies to you:

1995 Section (PDF: 144KB)

2008 Section (PDF: 137KB)

2015 Scheme (PDF: 137KB)

Ill health (PDF: 170KB)

Revised (substitute) award (PDF: 100KB)