Pension transfer options for NHS practitioners

If you're eligible to join the Scottish NHS pension schemes as an NHS practitioner, then you'll also have the option to transfer pension benefits into the scheme once you become a member.

If you've been in membership as a practitioner and you're leaving for any reason, you'll also have options to either receive a refund of contributions or to transfer your benefits out to another approved pension scheme.  

Transferring in

Although the regulations surrounding pension transfers can get a little complicated, as a rule, if you're a member of the scheme and you have former pension benefits held elsewhere then you should have options to transfer them in order to gain additional credit in your NHS scheme. 

If you've had previous practitioner service in either NHS England and Wales or Northern Ireland and you wish to transfer your pension benefits into NHS Scotland, you should contact the Practitioner Team at SPPA as soon as possible after joining the NHS Scotland scheme.

If you've previously been a practitioner with NHS Scotland and you've been working for and paying into another defined benefit superannuation scheme such as the Universities' Superannuation Scheme, then you can transfer these benefits into the NHS Scheme.

If you've worked in the private sector and contributed to a private pension fund, your transfer request must be received by SPPA within 12 months of you starting your NHS employment

For all transfers into the scheme, you'll need to be an active member of the scheme, while your transfer is being processed.

Detailed information about transferring into the scheme can be found on our website.

Transferring out

If you're leaving NHS Scotland employment or opting out of the scheme, you can also transfer your benefits out of NHS Scotland into another defined benefit scheme.

You'll have to contact the scheme you wish to transfer your benefits into and they'll make the transfer request to SPPA.

You can find further information on transferring out of the pension scheme and find out if you can apply for a refund of contributions on our website.

Note that if you leave the scheme for any reason, you don't have to transfer out. Your benefits can be preserved within the scheme and taken from the minimum retirement age of 55 with a reduction for early payment or in full at your normal retirement age within the scheme.

Was this information useful?