Becoming a member of the NHS (Scotland) Pension Scheme

On this page:

  • Benefits of becoming a member
  • How the scheme works

All new employees of NHS Scotland are automatically enrolled in the NHS (Scotland) Pension Scheme 2015 as long as they’re aged between 16 and 75 and aren’t already receiving a pension from the 1995 section of the NHS pension scheme.

This includes everyone directly employed by NHS Scotland as well as medical, dental or ophthalmic practitioners (including trainees), people working for a general practice and associated staff working for certain approved employers and non-general practitioner providers.

New employees of NHS Scotland who have contributed to a public sector pension scheme within the last five years, may be eligible to join an NHS Scotland Final Salary scheme. Contact us for more information.

A valuable benefit

Membership of the scheme is a valuable benefit. It’s a defined benefit scheme and after 2 years of qualifying service, you’ll be entitled to receive a pension payable for life when you retire.

Both you and your employer contribute towards the cost of your pension. Deductions are taken directly from your salary by your payroll department and you receive tax relief on your contributions.

How the scheme works

The NHS 2015 Scheme is a Career Average Re-valued Earnings (CARE) scheme which allows you to accumulate 1/54th of your pensionable earnings each year you’re employed by the NHS. That amount is then revalued each year until you retire using the Consumer Price Index plus 1.5%.

The scheme also has a number of other benefits for qualifying members, including:

  • The option to give up some of your pension for a tax-free lump sum in retirement
  • A range of benefits for your dependants should you die
  • Early retirement options should you become too ill to work.
  • Topping up your pension and transferring in

The 2015 Scheme also offers a number of ways to increase the value of the pension you’ll receive in retirement. These include:

  • the ability to transfer in previous pension rights
  • the option to purchase additional pension
  • the option to purchase an NHS Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out which means you can retire earlier than your State Pension age.

Opting out

Although new members are automatically enrolled in the 2015 scheme, you can choose to opt-out of the scheme if your circumstances change.

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