Understanding your protected pension rights

Some members of the NHS 1995 section and 2008 section qualified for protected pension rights when the current 2015 scheme was introduced. Depending on how close you were to retirement when the 2015 scheme was introduced, you may have qualified for ‘full’ or ‘tapered’ protection.

Full protection

If you qualified for full protection, you’ll have continued to earn benefits in your former scheme as before and you’ll have kept the same normal pension age. To qualify for full protection, you had to have been paying into your scheme on 1 April 2012 and 1 April 2015 and you had to meet certain age or services conditions.

If you were in the NHS 1995 section as a normal member, your ongoing rights were fully protected in that section if, on 1 April 2012, you were at least 50 years old.

If you were in the NHS 1995 section as a Mental Health Officer or Special Class member, your ongoing rights were fully protected in that section if, on 1 April 2012, you were at least 45 years old.

If you were in the NHS 2008 section, your ongoing rights were fully protected in that section if, on 1 April 2012, you were aged 55 or over.

Tapered protection

Tapered protection was also extended to some members of the NHS 1995 and 2008 sections who were close to retirement when the NHS 2015 scheme was launched but didn’t qualify for full protection.

If you were within three years and 5 months of qualifying for full protection and were paying into your pension scheme on 1 April 2012 and 1 April 2015, you’ll move in to the 2015 scheme at a later date.

If you hold tapered protection SPPA will have already informed you in writing of the date you’ll move into the 2015 scheme. Your employer should also be aware of the date you’ll move to the 2015 scheme.

Was this information useful?
5 + 8 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.