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Document Can a Special Class or Mental Health Officer (MHO) member take their pension at age 55 if they are made redundant before this?

Yes, however certain criteria apply:
  • Special Class members whose last 5 years of pensionable employment was Special Class membership and leave the Scheme before age 55 due to redundancy can claim their deferred pension benefits at age 55.
  • MHO members who have in excess of 20 years MHO membership and leave the Scheme before age 55 due to redundancy can claim their deferred pension benefits at age 55.
This applies even if the member is aged over 50 at the time they were made redundant. It also applies to those members who held Special Class status and worked in a GP surgery at the time of being made redundant (even though they cannot take their NHS pension benefits on redundancy grounds.)

If the member is made redundant and no further contributions are made in the 1995 Section of the Scheme, they may claim their deferred benefits at age 55 as long as they have completed their last 5 years of membership as a member of the Special Classes.

If the member is made redundant and returns to NHS employment within 5 years and re-join the pension scheme they will lose their right to claim their pension unreduced at 55 unless they re-join in a role that attracts Special Class status.

Please note: If a member returns to NHS employment after 5 years of being made redundant, they can still claim their 1995 pension benefits unreduced at 55. This is because after 5 years they would no longer be eligible to re-join the 1995 Section in any future NHS re-employment; instead they would join the 2015 Scheme.

If the above applies to you, your employer should notify NHS Pensions when closing down your pension record that the reason you are leaving your employment is due to redundancy.

Further information about Special Class status can be found on our website.

Additional information on redundancy can also be found on our website.
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mho redundancy, special class redundancy, return at 55, mho, special class
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