1995 and 2008 NHS Pension Schemes

Overview of the 1995 and 2008 NHS Pension Schemes.

27 May 2020

The 1995 and 2008 NHS Pension Schemes are now closed to new entrants, however some members retain the right to membership of these scheme. Find out more details on the schemes and links to resources for employers.

There are two NHS Pension Schemes, the 1995/2008 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme. The 1995/2008 scheme is closed to new entrants, however some members retain the right to membership of this scheme. The 1995/2008 Scheme is divided into two sections; the 1995 section, and the 2008 section.

Both sections are governed by regulations laid down by parliament. The 1995 section closed to new members from 31 March 2008 and the 2008 section closed to new entrants from 31 March 2015. All new entrants will now join the 2015 Scheme.

1995/2008 Scheme features:

  • A pension linked to pay and length of membership (benefits are fully guaranteed and will increase each year to keep in line with inflation).
  • Immediate life assurance of twice the annual pay from the first day of joining (usually a tax free lump sum).
  • Pension and allowances for a spouse, civil partner, qualifying unmarried partner, and dependent children upon death.
  • A tax free lump sum (optional in the case of members of the 2008 section).
  • Voluntary early retirement (restrictions apply) from age 50 (1995 section) or 55 (2008 section) (members will receive a reduced pension because the pension will be paid earlier and for longer).

Final pay controls:

Final pay controls protect the NHS Pension Scheme against the costs of excessive increases in pensionable pay. Under the current regulations employers are charged if they give a scheme member an increase in pensionable pay which is above an allowable amount in the final three years of their employment. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is consulting on proposed changes to the final pay control regulations, in the 1995 section of the NHS Pension Scheme. The proposed changes have been announced and agreed.

Resources for employers:

  • 1995/2008 Scheme guide can be found at the bottom of the member hub page on the NHS Pensions website.
  • The employer charter, outlining your employer responsibilities can be found at the bottom of the employer hub page of the NHS Pensions website.
  • NHS Pensions administration contact details for administrative queries.