What happens to your NHS pension when you take a career break

If you're on authorised leave for a career break, you have the option to remain as an active member of the pension scheme by continuing to pay contributions.

You'll have to arrange for this with your employer before your leave begins as arrears can't be paid on your return to work. During the first six months of authorised leave, both you and your employer will pay contributions.

If your authorised leave extends beyond six months up to a maximum of 18 months, you'll have to pay both your own and your employer’s contributions to remain active in the scheme.

You can also choose to stop making scheme contributions while on authorised leave. In this case, once you stop making contributions your benefits will be preserved. When you return to work you can then re-join the scheme.

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