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Document What happens if I return to NHS Employment after my retirement but do not meet the return to work restrictions?

For many members who retire and return to NHS work, they will need to take at least a 24 hour break from employment. If they are retiring from the 1995 Section they would also need to work no more than 16 hours per week during the first calendar month.

There are some exceptions where the return to work restrictions won't apply. Please see the related articles below for further information on when the restrictions will / won't apply.

Below is an outline of what happens if the restrictions do apply but they are not met.

Re-employed pensioner has not met 24 hour break (where it is applicable)


You must take a 24 hour break as this is one of the criteria for you to be deemed as retired, otherwise you would have continued service and your pension would not be payable. If you did not take a 24 hour break you will need to arrange with your employer when you will be taking this break. Your employer will then confirm this by completing an AW171 form to revise your last day of service. The form can be found on our website.

Once received NHS Pensions will recalculate your Award to take into account the new payable date and add any additional service / pension accrued from the additional period you worked. This may mean that your pension has been over / underpaid. We will write out to you advising what the next steps would be if this applies.


Re-employed pensioner has not met the 16 hour rule (1995 Section only)

If you have not met the 16 hour rule but have met the 24 hour break, you can reduce your hours at any point following your break. Your pension will not be paid until you work a full calendar month on 16 hours per week or less, and will only be backdated until the first day of the calendar month of working 16 hours or less. Any pension due for the period prior to this would be forfeited.


You should get your employer to submit a re-employment form confirming the dates in which you worked 16 hours a week or less.


See also...

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