How to re-join the NHS (Scotland) pension scheme

Each year, many former members of the NHS Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) re-join the scheme in order to take advantage of its many benefits. They re-join following career breaks, changes in jobs or following periods where they’ve opted out of making payments to the scheme.

If you’re looking to re-join the scheme, you just need to contact your employer and ask them to re-enrol you. To re-join, you’ll have to be aged between 16 and 75 and you can’t already be receiving a pension from the 1995 scheme. You’ll also have to be directly employed by NHS Scotland, or be: a medical, dental or ophthalmic practitioner (or trainee); working for a general practice; working for certain approved employers or; a non-general practitioner provider.

When you re-join, it may be possible to link your future benefits to any preserved benefits you already have. Please contact us to find out the situation in your particular case.

Automatic enrolment

Automatic enrolment is a UK Government initiative that’s designed to help people save through a pension scheme at work. It ensures that employers automatically place their employees in an approved pension scheme.

When you take up employment with the NHS, you’re automatically enrolled in the pension scheme. If you choose to opt out of the scheme, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled after three years – which means you’ll have re-joined the scheme and would have to opt out again if you didn’t want to be a member. Similarly, you’re also re-enrolled if you take up an additional NHS Scotland employment

Leaving NHS Scotland to work with a ‘direction body’

In some cases, former employees of NHS Scotland may be able to re-join the NHS Scotland pension scheme when they move to work for a university medical school, hospice or other charity that provides services or supplements to NHS Scotland. In order for this to happen, you’ll need to check with your employer and apply within three months of starting your new employment outside NHS Scotland. Ask your new employer for an SB115 form.


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