This page is currently being reviewed and may read a little differently from other pages on our website. We're working on this and it will be updated very soon.

Information to be Provided to Employees

The NHS Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) (NHSSSS) provides a wide package of pension benefits and all eligible employer's must be automatically enrolled into the scheme from the first day of employment.

On appointment employers must provide all new staff with the following information in their appointment letter:

INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEME

MEMBERSHIP DETAILS 
  • If your employment with us is an additional post, you should notify us that you are employed elsewhere, to prevent you over-contributing to the NHS pension scheme. 
  • On 1 April 2015 a new NHS Pension scheme (NHS 2015) was introduced. If you are joining the NHS Pension Scheme for the first time you will be in the 2015 scheme and your normal pension age (NPA) will be equal to your state pension age (SPA). 
  • If you have re-joined the scheme after a break of five years or more, you will be a member of the NHS 2015 scheme. However, you can choose to transfer your preserved NHS service into the NHS 2015. Applications to transfer preserved NHS service into the NHS 2015 should be made in writing to SPPA.

OPTIONS AVAILABLE & IMPORTANT TIMESCALES

TRANSFERRING PENSION BENEFITS INTO THE NHS PENSION SCHEME

If you are interested in transferring previous pension rights into the scheme you should contact the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA). Please note that transfer applications will only be accepted within 12 months from the date you joined the scheme, and before your NPA. Any delay in applying for a transfer could impact upon the value of your transfer.

INCREASING PENSION BENEFITS

Members of the NHS 2015 pension scheme can pay additional contributions in order to secure an earlier retirement age. This is called Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out (ERRBO). You can apply at any time but if you wish to backdate this to your joining date you must apply within 3 months of joining the scheme.

SPPA have added calculators, application forms and information about the rules and restrictions applicable to increasing pension benefits on their website. www.pensions.gov.scot

CONTACT DETAILS

Scottish Public Pensions Agency, 7 Tweedside Park, Tweedbank, Galashiels, TD1 3TE

TEL: 01896 893000

You should also enclose a copy of the leaflet NHS new starter factsheet. This provides the member with the benefits of the scheme and allows them to make an informed decision about continuing their membership.

Employees Joining the Scheme

Most NHS employees will be eligible to join the scheme and no medical examination is required. Employees are automatically brought into the scheme on commencing employment. Form Opt Out must be completed if the employee does not wish to remain in the scheme. This is known as 'opting out'. A member may opt out of the scheme at any time after they have been automatically enrolled.

NHS employees will be enrolled from age 16 until age 75, except for the Special Classes/Mental Health Officers within the 1995 section who must stop contributing at age 65.

There is no minimum number of hours that can be pensionable in the NHSSS(S). All bank workers must be made pensionable on every occasion they work unless they have made it known that they do not wish to join the scheme, or if they have whole time pensionable employment elsewhere in the NHS.

It has been agreed with Scottish NHS employers that as long as bank workers are provided with the agreed notice regarding scheme membership, there is no requirement to remove bank workers from the scheme.

The maximum numbers of hours that can be pensionable in the NHSSS(S) are the normal whole-time hours for the relevant job.

If an employee works less than the normal whole time hours for the job, any additional hours worked, between the contracted hours worked and the normal whole-time hours for the job, are pensionable. Overtime payments for hours worked in excess of whole time hours are non pensionable.

Where there is no acknowledged whole time hours figure for the job, pension administrators will assume that 37.5 hours per week are pensionable.

If an employee has 2 or more jobs which together will exceed whole time, the excess posts or hours should be made non pensionable according to the following rules:

  • whole-time posts take first priority,
  • then the part-time post with the highest hourly rate takes next priority, then,
  • posts with identical hourly rates should be controlled to ensure they do not exceed the whole time equivalent hours.

Rejoining after Retirement

Members who have previously retired from the scheme have to option of re-joining under the following circumstances:

  • 1995 section - former members, who retired on Ill Health grounds, and at the time of rejoining, are under age 50.
  • 2008 section - members who have retired on Ill Health grounds and are in receipt of a lower tier ill health pension may return to pensionable employment.
  • members who have retired after 1 April 2008 but before 1 October 2009 from the 1995 section may be eligible, to join the 2008 section of the NHSSS(S) if at least 2 years have elapsed since their retirement (link to eligibility section).
  • members who chose to transfer to the 2008 section during the Choice Exercise may be able to return to 2008 section.
  • 2008 section - members who have retired from this section have the option of re-joining the scheme under the new 2015 scheme.
  • 2015 scheme - members who have retired from this scheme may take their benefits and re-join as a new member and begin to accrue benefits again under a new employment after retirement.

All members with more than one pensionable post in the scheme who only took redundancy benefits for the post in which they were actually made redundant can continue to pay in to the scheme on their other post . (Section 16(4) of the Agenda For Change Agreement refers).

If there is any doubt as to whether a re-employed pensioner is eligible to join the 1995 or 2008 sections of the scheme employers should contact SPPA who will provide advice on the pensioner's eligibility to rejoin.

Working after Retirement

If a member has been awarded an NHS pension, in some cases it may be possible to continue working in the NHS or take up further employment without affecting their pension benefits .

The pension benefits will not be affected if they return to NHS work after they retire provided:

  • they have taken a 24 hour break; and
  • at least one calendar month has passed from the date they retired to the date they return to work (jobs in the NHS totalling 16 hours or less a wee are ignored for this purpose); and
  • they were age 60 or over when they retired; or
  • they are receiving a voluntary early retirement or deferred pension, which has been reduced because of being paid before age 60; or
  • they are receiving an early but unenhanced retirement pension following redundancy.

However, their tax position may be affected, so in all cases of re-employment the member will need to tell their employer that they have a scheme pension and write to SPPA with full details of their new post and pension payroll reference.

Members who have been in receipt of a pension should be reminded about their responsibility to notify SPPA when taking

Working after Retirement -1995 section

If a member has been awarded an NHS pension under the 2008 section, in some cases it may be possible to continue working in the NHS or take up further employment without affecting their pension benefits .

The pension benefits will not be affected if they return to NHS work after they retire provided:

  • they have taken a 24 hour break; and
  • they were age 65 or over when they retired; or
  • they are receiving a voluntary early retirement or deferred pension, which has been reduced because of being paid before age 60; or they are receiving an early but unenhanced retirement pension following redundancy.

However, their tax position may be affected, so in all cases of re-employment the member will need to tell their employer that they have a scheme pension and write to SPPA with full details of their new post and pension payroll reference.

Members who have been in receipt of a pension should be reminded about their responsibility to notify SPPA when taking up re-employment in any capacity (whether superannuable or non-superannuable). Failure to notify the SPPA in a timely manner may mean that pension benefits are overpaid. These would be recovered from the pensioner.)

Working after Retirement -2015 section

If a member has been awarded an NHS pension under the 2015 scheme, in most cases it may be possible to continue working in the NHS or take up further employment without affecting their pension benefits .

However, their tax position may be affected, so in all cases of re-employment the member will need to tell their employer that they have a scheme pension and write to SPPA with full details of their new post and pension payroll reference.

Members who have been in receipt of a pension should be reminded about their responsibility to notify SPPA when taking up re-employment in any capacity (whether superannuable or non-superannuable). Failure to notify the SPPA in a timely manner may mean that pension benefits are overpaid. These would be recovered from the pensioner.

Further information can be obtained here. Failure to notify the SPPA in a timely manner may mean that pension benefits are overpaid. These would be recovered from the pensioner.

Joining Forms

Form NSR01 is SPPA's joiner form, completed by the employer with details of each new member and sent to SPPA to set up an individual computer record of membership. NHS employers who operate the Scottish Standard Payroll System/e-Payroll have starter details transferred automatically to SPPA.

Form NSR01 should be used for all automatically enrolled employees, including trainee Practitioners, Practitioners, and eligible assistants.

Where a Principal Practitioner joins the Scheme and is recorded on more than one medical or dental list, each Health Board should submit starter information to SPPA on form NSR01.

It is most important that SPPA is advised of all the Health Boards on whose list a practit 2015vscheme e otherwise the member's superannuation records will be incomplete.

Form NSR01 should be sent to SPPA as soon as possible afteor 2008 r the member is automatically enrolled.

SPPA will enter the member into the 2008 section and issue a starter letter which advises them to notify SPPA of previous service. This may allow them to be moved to the 1995 section.

SPPA will acknowledge NSR joiner details by issuing an electronic Starters Report of new starters to the employer as soon as possible. If a report is not received within 3 months of issue of form NSR01 to SPPA, a follow up enquiry should be made to SPPA; this can be done in the form of a member listing. Duplicate joiner details should not be submitted unless requested by SPPA.

Employers should check the Starters Report for notification of SB and employment numbers. This should be updated on to the employee's payroll record.

The SB number, which will remain as the member's superannuation reference number throughout all current and subsequent NHS employments in Scotland, should be quoted on all correspondence and notifications thereafter.

If the SB number is not known or has not been notified, the full surname, forename(s), date of birth, pay reference number and national insurance number must be given in any enquiry or correspondence with SPPA

The report will also notify employers of any current Added Years contracts and advise the % rate that additional contributions should be deducted from that new post.

The report can also be used to verify if a member has Mental Health Officer or Special Class status for that post.

Our employer forms can be accessed by logging in to our Employer Data Management System here.

Employees Who Opt out of the Scheme

Following automatic enrolement, employees should complete form 'Opt Out' if they do not wish to remain the scheme.

Employers must no longer provide this for employees, the form is available from our website for members to complete.

When the employee has completed the Opt Out form, they will forward this to their employer to complete.

Employers should retain a copy for their records and forward a copy to SPPA.

Auto - Enrolment

As of 2013 the NHS Pension Scheme has taken up a process of auto enrolment in to the scheme. Employers must automatically enrol qualifying workers in to a qualifying pension scheme within 3 months of them taking up employment. Workers will have the option to opt out if they do not wish to be in the scheme. Employers must re-enrol jobholders every 3 years who have previously opted out, if the member is still working for the same employer after 3 years.it Opt Out forms on a monthly basis.

If an employee remains opted out with the same employer, they will be automatically re-enrolled in to the scheme after 3 years and 3 yearly thereafter.

Employees Who Rejoin the Scheme

An application, in writing, should be made to the employer where an employee who has previously opted out of the scheme, now wishes to join or rejoin the scheme. The application should be accepted at any time before retirement unless the applicant is absent for any reason. SPPA will advise if there is any doubt about an employee's right to rejoin the scheme.

Employees Employed in General Practices

Staff employed in GP Practices are also eligible to join the scheme and will be automatically enrolled when they commence employment.

Most of the range of benefits are available to them as they are employed directly by the NHS.

However, the following benefits do not apply:

  • Premature Retirement;
  • Injury Benefits Scheme.

Transferring Pension Rights to the NHSSS(S)

The Starter Letter and further information regarding transferring benefits in to the scheme can be found here. It may be possible to transfer previous pension scheme rights to the NHSSS(S) so that they count when scheme benefits are calculated. All transfers are subject to time limits (see Transfers section 7 for information)

The Rejoining Questionnaire provided with the Starter Letter should be completed and returned to the SPPA to initiate the Transfer In process.

Part Time Employees

Information in respect of part-time members of the scheme should be submitted in the same way as for whole time members, i.e. via the Standard Payroll System procedures or the appropriate electronic data submission.

If a part-time employee works concurrently with the NHS in Scotland and England, or is in receipt of a pension from the NHS in England and takes up part-time employment in Scotland, SPPA should be notified as soon as possible to determine the superannuation position.

Full-time to Part-time

When members change from full tiart-time or vice-versa, employment in which they elect to be superannuable, employers should notify SPPA by sending an electronic data submission using form NSR04.

Buying Additional NHSSS(S) Benefits

Starter Letter advises members that it may be possible to purchase additional pension benefits from the NHSSS(S).

Was this information useful?
7 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.