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Document What is Protection of Pay - Through no fault of your own (Involuntary)?

If you have at least two years qualifying service and suffer a reduction in earnings through no fault of your own, you may apply to protect your pension benefits. As we use your notional whole time equivalent pay to calculate your benefits you do not need to apply for protection if the reduction was due to just reducing your hours and not a drop in pay grade. This facility is available to members of the 1995 and 2008 sections of the Scheme - this facility is not available for members of the 2015 Scheme.

If you were previously a member of the 1995/2008 Scheme and you moved into the 2015 Scheme because you do not have Full Protection, you will have a final salary link for the purpose of your 1995/2008 pension benefits. Therefore as long as you have a final salary link you are still able to request voluntary or involuntary protection of pensionable pay subject to the relevant criteria.

There is no minimum age or reduction in pay required to apply for this type of protection and you can apply for this protection more than once if a further reduction occurs.

Protection of Pay is calculated on the best of the last three years up to the date of reduction or mark time pay.

Examples of accepted reasons for protection of pay are:

  • A change in the nature of the duties performed, for example due to ill health.

  • A move to a lower paid post because of pending or actual redundancy.

  • Being transferred to other employment with an employer.
As pension benefits are automatically deferred after a break of 12 months you will not need to apply for protection if returning to NHS pensionable employment 12 months or more after being made redundant.

If you are considering pay protection because you have been affected by Agenda for Change (AFC) then you may also be able to apply for pay protection. Please contact your NHS Employer to discuss this. This is not dealt with in the same manner as Involuntary Pay protection.

Requests should be made within three months of your pay being reduced or moved onto marking time. Where pay is to mark-time for a specified period your pension can be protected at the beginning and the end of the mark-time period.

Please note: if you are a practitioner member your pension benefits are based on your re-valued career earnings. This is known as a Career Average Re-valued Earnings (CARE) pension. It is not necessary for you as a practitioner member to request protection of your pay.

To apply you should complete the form SM R9 App and send this to your employer. On receipt of the completed SM R9 App form your employer should complete the form SM R9 EA ensuring that all relevant information is provided.

Both forms should then be submitted by your employer to us, we will consider the application and write to you via your employer with the outcome.

For further information regarding Protection of Pay and to download the SM R9 form, please see our website.
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