Worried about your NHS pension?
Are you starting to think about your retirement? Are you keen to stop work early? But then when you begin to look at your NHS pension, do you feel uncertain as to its value and whether you will have enough money to fulfill your dreams?
There’s no doubt the NHS pension is complex and went through major changes in 2015. Different versions exist depending whether you joined the 1995, 2008 or 2015 scheme. As a result, it’s easy to lose track of what your pension might be worth. And once you’ve started thinking about your pension, it can quickly become the thing that keeps you awake at night.
As an active or deferred member of the NHS Pension Scheme, you should be receiving Annual Benefits Statements which are also known as Total Rewards Statements through the Total Rewards Statements portal. They are updated annually and are designed to help you understand the true value of your employment package. The service is free of charge and a fast and convenient way to get information about your NHS pension.
If you don’t have a statement you can request an estimate of your retirement benefits here. There may be a charge for a more complex estimate but all charges are itemised on the website in the Member Hub. Factsheets about the 1995, 2008 and 2015 schemes are also available as well as ones about ill health retirement and death in service benefits.
Of course, getting a figure is only the first step. The amount could be higher or lower than you expected. If so, you will need to consider what this means for your retirement plans. It may be you could retire earlier than you thought but you would need to check the extent of any penalties that would apply on early retirement. If the figure is less than you hoped for, it may be possible for you to make additional pension contributions. However, you would need to check if this course of action could affect your Annual Allowance (AA) or Lifetime Allowance (LTA) as there may be tax implications.
Such complexities highlight the fact that now may be a good time to seek independent specialist financial advice. This will not only give you peace of mind but will also put you in a position to be able to make informed decisions about your retirement. At Medical Money Management, we’ve got over forty years’ experience of the NHS Pension Scheme and the issues that Healthcare professionals are facing, so why not let us help you answer some of those difficult questions.