Blogs > Useful Information / Life in the UK

NHS Pensions

  • March 20, 2019

When you start working for the NHS, you will automatically be included in the NHS Pension Scheme – one of the most attractive benefits of working for the UK’s National Healthcare System. The scheme is voluntary, so you can choose to opt-out if you prefer.

The amount that you pay into your pension will depend on how much you earn, the current contribution rates are between 5% and 14.5%. Your contributions are deducted from your gross pay, which means less of your income is taxable.

Please note, BDI Resourcing does not offer any financial advice, this information is taken from various references. The facts and figures are correct at the time of writing and often fluctuate.


Both full-time and part-time workers pay a percentage of their gross salary into their pension each month, this is then topped up by employer (NHS) contributions and you will receive pension tax relief on your contributions.

Contributions are based on your previous years’ pensionable earnings and are shown below as a percentage of gross salary (before tax).

Salary Range

Contribution Rate

£0- £15, 431.99


£15, 432 - £21, 477


£21, 478 - £26, 823


£26, 824 - £47, 845


£47, 846 - £70, 630


£70, 631 - £111, 376


£111, 377+


At what age can I collect my pension?

It is expected for you to collect your pension at the “normal pension age”. If you collect at the “normal pension age”, you will not face a reduction for an early payment. However, if you collect lower than this age, you may have to pay a fee.

The normal retirement age varies depending on what section of the scheme you are in:

1995 Section – Normal retirement age is 60

2008 Section – Normal retirement age is 65

2015 Section – Normal age is the state pension age (Currently 60 for women and 65 for men. This is due to increase at the end of 2019).

Tax Codes and your Pension

Your tax code tells your employer how much tax to deduct from your pension. If you want to enquire about your tax code, contact HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3300.

What happens to my pension if I leave the NHS?

If you decide to leave the NHS and you have made previous contributions, you will have two options available to you. The first is a refund of your previous contributions and the second is transferring your pension benefits to another UK provider.

Further information can be found here.

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Davies, P. (2019). NHS pension schemes explained. [online] Which? Money. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2019].

GOV.UK. (2019). NHS pensions. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2019]. (2019). Leaving or taking a break from the Scheme | NHSBSA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2019].


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