NHS Protection Benefits

NHS Pension Scheme - Ill Health before retirement

The ill health retirement benefits under the NHS pension scheme changed in April 2008.

The new rules for ill-health retirement

From 1 April 2008 a two-tier system for ill-health retirement benefit has been introduced for members with at least two years membership in either the NHS Pension Scheme (Amended April 2008) or the New NHS Pension Scheme. Members who are unlikely to ever work again due to ill-health will receive greater benefits under the new arrangements than those who have reasonable prospect of finding alternative work. The tiers and benefits are:

Tier 1 - Member assessed as being unable to do their current NHS job

Where a member is assessed by NHS Pensions and its medical advisers as being permanently incapable of efficiently discharging the duties of their present job in the NHS, they may be awarded early payment of their retirement benefits earned to date. These benefits will not be reduced as they would in, for example, a case of voluntary early retirement where benefits are reduced to cover the extra cost of being paid before the normal pension age and therefore in payment longer. However, benefits under Tier 1 provision will not be increased. In certain circumstances members receiving a Tier 1 award will be able to have their application reviewed for Tier 2.

Tier 2 - Member assessed as being unable to do regular work

Tier 2 will apply where a member is assessed by NHS Pensions and its medical advisers as being permanently incapable of doing both their current NHS job AND other regular employment across the general field of employment of like duration. Their previous training, qualifications and experience, and not just the medical conditions, will be taken into account in the assessment of their permanent incapacity.

Tier 2 assessment means entitlement to early payment of the retirement benefits earned to date increased by two thirds of the memberís prospective membership up to reaching their normal retirement age.

A minimum increase of four years membership capped at age 60 will apply until 31 March 2016 in the Amended NHS Scheme only.

However, obtaining ill health early retirement from the NHS is not easy or a foregone conclusion.

Click here for the NHS Scheme Guide.

NHS Death Benefits

It is important to calculate the benefits that would be payable in the event of death whilst in service when assessing the need for any additional protection.

Click here to use our NHS Pension calculator