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Document Can I return to NHS work after retiring from the 1995 section of the Scheme?

After retiring from the 1995 Section of the Scheme you can return to work within the NHS; however certain restrictions will apply.

  • You must have a 24 hour break from employment*
  • You must work no more than 16 hours per week in the first calendar month after retirement to avoid your pension being suspended.

Alternatively, you can take a full calendar month break in employment immediately after retirement to avoid the above restrictions. Any unpaid work that you perform will not count towards the 16 hour limit.

* If you have deferred benefits in the 1995 Section and you are currently a member of the 2008 Section or 2015 Scheme it may be possible for you to claim your 1995 Section benefits and continue to pay into the 2008 Section or 2015 Scheme. You will not need to take a 24 hour break from your current NHS job, or restrict your working hours.

If you do intend to return to work you must confirm this on the AW8 Application form. Following this, your employer will need to complete a Pensioner re-employment form and send this to NHS Pensions confirming you have met the above criteria.

On returning to employment your pension may be subject to a reduction. This is known as abatement. This also applies to members who held Special Class or Mental Health Officer (MHO) status who have retired and returned to work before 60. If your pension is subject to abatement, the reduction will be determined by the level of actual earnings from your re-employment.

Further restrictions apply if you are in receipt of a Tier 2 pension and become re-employed anywhere, including outside the NHS, you should also read the Returning to work following ill health retirement factsheet.

This also applies even if you are retiring from NHS in England or Wales and then returning to NHS employment in Scotland /Northern Ireland.

In addition to these restrictions your employer may have additional restrictions that apply specifically to them. You would need to contact your employer to discuss specific restrictions.

For further information on working after retirement and access to the factsheets, please see our website.

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