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Document How will my Special Class or Mental Health Officer (MHO) status be affected if I undergo a TUPE transfer?

If you are a Special Class or Mental Health Officer and you are transferred to an organisation that has applied for access to the NHS Pension Scheme in respect of the transferred staff, usually by way of a pension direction, you may retain your Special Class or Mental Health Officer status providing you are transferring to a role which meets all of the requirements to be eligible for this status. If you or your new employer is unsure if the role qualifies for Special Class or Mental Health Officer status, the employer must contact NHS Pensions as soon as possible.

If you are a Special Class or Mental Health Officer and you are transferred to an organisation that does not have (or seek) access to the NHS Pension Scheme for the transferred staff, you will be unable to retain your Special Class or Mental Health Officer status in the NHS Pension Scheme. In such circumstances the following will apply:

• If you are under age 55 your pension will become deferred and will usually be payable from the Normal Pension Age of 60, or
• If you are 55 or older you may be able to claim your NHS Pension Scheme benefits.

To retire from age 55 without a reduction to benefits because of Special Class or Mental Health Officer status the post you retire from must have Special Class or Mental Health Officer status and you must have held the status for the five years leading up to retirement.

For more information please see the Special Class factsheet available on our website.

We would suggest that you contact your employer directly if they do not have (or seek) access to the NHS Pension Scheme for the transferred staff. They will be able to provide you with further information including details of the alternative pension scheme arrangements that have been put in place.

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Special Class, Mental Health Officer, MHO, TUPE, TUPE transfer
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