NHS pension scheme changes: rules and benefits comparison

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1 NHS pension scheme changes: rules and benefits comparison The new arrangements for NHS pensions mean that from 1 April 2008 there will be two schemes: The current updated. This will continue to be a final salary scheme with a normal retirement age of 60 (55 for special classes) and it will have some new benefits. The scheme will continue to be called the and its updated rules and benefits will apply to anyone who is an active member on and before 1 April A new final salary scheme for anyone who joins on or after 1 April This will be called the New. It will have a normal retirement age of 65 and a different set of rules and benefits. Former staff already drawing their NHS pension at 31 March 2008, and those who leave the NHS on or before 31 March 2008 and defer their pension benefits*, will remain subject to current NHS Pension Scheme rules and benefits. * exceptions apply for qualifying pensioners and deferred members who rejoin the NHS separate information is available on this Active members of the updated will be offered the choice, for a limited period, planned to run from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, of moving their pension into the New NHS Pension Scheme, something that may better suit some members retirement plans. The table set out on the following pages allows you to compare rules and benefits applying to the current (referred to as NHS Pension Scheme with those applying to the new arrangements that will come into effect on 1 April 2008, referred to as (1 April 08 and after terms) and the New NHS Pension Scheme. Please note that this information is for guidance only and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the Regulations. These will be available from the Pensions Division website by 1 April

2 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Who can join these schemes? All eligible staff on and up to 31 March This Scheme is an updated version of the current and members of that Scheme will automatically become members of this Scheme on 1 April Qualifying deferred members 1 returning to the NHS will also become members of this Scheme. The Scheme is closed to all other groups. All eligible staff from 1 April Who do these rules and benefits apply to from 1 April 2008? Pensioners who retired on or before 31 March 2008 Deferred members who left the NHS on or before 31 March 2008 and have not subsequently re-joined the NHS Members of the active on and before 1 April 2008 who do not opt to move to the NHS New Pension Scheme (choice available 1 July 2009 until 30 June 2010) Deferred members at 1 October 2008 who return to the NHS within five years of leaving and do not opt to move to the New. Staff joining the New NHS Pension Scheme. Members of the active on and before 1 April 2008 who opt to move to this scheme (choice available 1 July 2009 until 30 June 2010) Eligible deferred members returning to the NHS who opt to move to this scheme Deferred members who return to the NHS from 1 October 2008 and more than five years after leaving. 1 Qualifying deferred members are those who: return to the NHS on or before 30 September 2008 or return on or after 1 October 2008 after a break in their NHS employment of less than five years. 02

3 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Normal pension 60 (or 55 for special classes) 60 (or 55 for special classes) 65 age (NPA) Minimum pension age (when staff can take pension other than ill health) Contribution rate 5% manual on all annual FTE 6% others pensionable pay Tiered Contribution Rates: 3 Up to and including 19,165 5% 19,166 to 63, % 63,417 to 99, % 100,000 plus 8.5% Tiered Contribution Rates: 3 Up to and including 19,165 5% 19,166 to 63, % 63,417 to 99, % 100,000 plus 8.5% Special retirement rights Nurses, midwives, health visitors, physiotherapists and mental health officers (MHOs) - in a qualifying post before 6 March 1995 (collectively described as Special Class Status ) No change to Special Class Status No Special Class Status 2 The Finance Act 2004 allows schemes to provide protection of a minimum pension age of 50 for members who had a right to take reduced benefits at that age on 5 April If afforded, this protection may continue as long as members retiring early after 6 April 2010 take all their benefits payable under scheme rules. In the NHS` Scheme, for those without protection, members who first joined and some who returned to the Scheme after 6 April 2006, minimum pension age will change from 50 to 55 from 6 April In 2008/09 your contribution rate will be based on pensionable pay in 2007/08. From April 2009, your rate will be calculated on your actual pensionable pay every month (every year for GPs and dental practitioners). Pay thresholds (eg 19,166) will be adjusted in line with Agenda for Change pay awards. The thresholds in this table are based on 2006/07 pay rates. Interim arrangements will maintain 5% for manuals for one year only (2008/09). 03

4 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Membership limits From age 16 to years at age 60 and 45 years overall From age 16 to 75 Overall membership limit, for future service, of 45 years From age 16 to 75 Overall membership limit of 45 years Earnings Some members joining from 1 June No earnings limit for future service No earnings limit 1989 are subject earnings cap 4 Accrual rate (the way you earn your pension) 1/80 th final salary scheme Career Average Re-valued Earnings Scheme for practitioners (CARE) accrual rate of 1.4% 1/80th final salary scheme CARE for practitioners accrual rate of 1.4% 1/60th final salary scheme CARE for practitioners, accrual rate of 1.87% Retirement lump sum Automatic fixed tax free lump sum of 3 x pension (or 4.2% for practitioners) Automatic fixed tax free lump sum of 3/80ths x service x pensionable pay (or 4.2% for practitioners) plus the ability to give up part of pension 5 for an increased tax free lump sum up to 25% of pension value 6 Total flexibility to give up part of pension for a tax free lump sum of up to 25% of pension value or keep all as pension 7 4 Dental practitioners have a separate additional Maximum Allowable Remuneration MAR, which can affect high earners not subject to the normal earnings cap. Dental earning cap from 1 April , Giving up part of pension for a lump sum is described as commutation, you exchange at a rate of 12 of lump sum for each 1 pa of pension given up 6 Pension value is determined by a formula and is approximately 20 times the annual pension plus any lump sum taken. This means in practice that the maximum lump sum that may be taken can be calculated by multiplying the standard 1/80th pension by 5.36, and the potential extra lump sum is the difference between this figure and the standard 3/80th provided. 7 This means in practice that the maximum lump sum that may be taken can be calculated my multiplying the pre-commutation pension by

5 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Final salary pension based on Best of the last 3 years pensionable pay Best of the last 3 years pensionable pay Annual average of best 3 consecutive years pensionable pay, in last 10 years, with all years before the last year re-valued by Retail Price Index. Practitioner pension based on All pensionable earnings revalued by dynamising factors determined by changes in the earnings of each practitioner profession All pensionable earnings revalued by dynamising factors determined by changes in the retail price index plus 1.5% All pensionable earnings revalued by dynamising factors determined by changes in the retail price index plus 1.5% Flexible retirement Pensionable re-employment if you retire on ill-health grounds, draw a pension and return to the NHS under age 50 No pensionable re-employment after drawing a pension on any other grounds Pension payable on retirement only Pensionable re-employment if you retire on ill-health grounds, draw a pension and return to the NHS under age 50 Pension payable on retirement only 8 Step down voluntary pension protection where pay is reduced on taking a less demanding job. If you retire on or after 1 April 2008 and before the choice exercise pensionable re-employment is available in the New Scheme after a break of 2 years. Pensionable re-employment on return to work after retirement and re-join the Scheme Draw down taking part of pension whilst continuing in a less demanding NHS employment 8 Deferred members who return to the NHS after 5 years will be able to draw their deferred pension at 60 while continuing in pensionable employment in the New Scheme 05

6 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Late retirement factors (LRFs) The practice of applying an immediate increase to a pension because it is coming into payment later than a schemes normal retirement age. No immediate increase where pension taken later than NPA60 (or 55 for special classes) No immediate increase where pension taken later than NPA60 (or 55 for special classes) Immediate increase to pension if taken later than NPA 65 Abatement practice of reducing a pension if the combined amount of pension and salary in NHS reemployment exceeds the pre retirement level of pensionable pay Takes full pension into account No abatement after age 60 or after 50 where pension is actuarially reduced on Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) Takes only part of the pension into account 9 No abatement after age 60 or after 50 where pension is actuarially reduced on Voluntary Early Retirement Takes only part of the pension into account 9 No abatement after age 65 or after 55 where pension is actuarially reduced on Voluntary Early Retirement Voluntary early retirement with actuarial reduction From age From age From age 55 9 Only takes into account any additional pension over and above what would have been paid had benefits been actuarially reduced in the same way as for voluntary early retirement. 10 The Finance Act 2004 allows schemes to provide protection of a minimum pension age of 50 for members who had a right to take reduced benefits at that age on 5 April If afforded, this protection may continue as long as members retiring early after 6 April 2010 take all their benefits payable under scheme rules. In the NHS` Scheme, for those without protection, members who first joined and some who returned to the Scheme after 6 April 2006, minimum pension age will change from 50 to 55 from 6 April

7 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Ill health retirement Ill health retirement benefits up to 10 years extra service See separate review by NHS Employers and NHS Health Unions. Details at See separate review by NHS Employers and NHS Health Unions. Details at Opportunities to save for increased pensions Purchase of Added Years Two Money Purchase Added Voluntary Contributions (MPAVCs) and stakeholder pension partners (Standard Life and The Prudential) Half Cost Added Years for eligible members who took a refund of pension contributions before 6 April 1978 Members (or employers on their behalf) can buy additional annual pension of up to 5,000 a year Existing added years contracts honoured but no new contracts. Two Money Purchase Added Voluntary Contributions (MPAVCs) and stakeholder pension partners (Standard Life and The Prudential) Members (or employers on their behalf) can buy additional annual pension of up to 5,000 a year Two Money Purchase Added Voluntary Contributions (MPAVCs) and stakeholder pension partners (Standard Life and The Prudential) Half Cost Added Years for eligible members who took a refund of pension contributions before 6 April 1978 Contribution limits 15% max employee contributions Employee contribution limited to 100% of pensionable pay 11 Employee contribution limited to 100% of pensionable pay No limits to pensionable pay or service. However in line with the Finance Act 2004 upper limits will apply for tax privileged pension savings of 215,000 ( annual increase in pension value) and overall limit of 1.5m pension accrual as at April

8 (1 April 08 and after terms) New Survivor benefits For legal spouse and registered civil partnerships from 2005 (backdated until 1988) 12 Partners normally lose pension on re-marriage All qualifying partners 13 eligible for pension backdated to All qualifying partners keep survivor pension even when re-marry or co-habit All qualifying partners 13 eligible for pension All qualifying partners keep survivor pension even when re-marry or co-habit Death in service Death in service lump sum twice annual pensionable pay Death in service lump sum twice annual pensionable pay Death in service lump sum twice annual pensionable pay Child allowances Payable under the age of 17 and from 17 if still in full time education (beyond 23 if physically or mentally dependent) Payable to dependent children up to age 23 in all cases 14 Payable to dependent children up to age 23 in all cases 14 Survivor pensions on death in service Initial widow/widower/civil partners(s) pension paid for 3 months or 6 months subject to dependent children Initial Partner Pension to be paid for 6 months in all cases Initial Partner Pension to be paid for 6 months in all cases For more details see the text of the full Pension Scheme changes agreement at 12 All service for legal female spouses and from April 1988 for male spouses and civil partners. Civil partnership refers to same sex partners who have entered into a legal civil partnership. 13 Partners defined as someone who you are married to, have entered into a civil partnership with, or a partner you have nominated who you have an exclusive and long - term committed relationship with of at least two years in which you are financially dependent or inter-dependent. 14 This allowance will be payable indefinitely as long as the child, through physical or mental impairment, remains unable to earn a living and the condition existed at the member date of death See other factsheets available at PLEASE NOTE: Changes described in this document are subject to Parliamentary approval. 08

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