Reader Question: I’ve left the NHS what happens to my pension?

1 min Read Published: 04 Aug 2011

Get an answer to your financial question onlineReader Question:

My friend is not any more connected with the NHS Trust but had a pension for 8 straight years. What will happen with this pension? Can she withdraw the money any time now without further questions?

My response:


Assuming that your friend was a member of the NHS scheme she would now be classed as  deferred. Her benefits will simply sit there, until she draws a pension or transfers them elsewhere (see later), being revalued to help lessen the impact of inflation.

There are rules surrounding the access to her pension benefits but she is unlikely to be able to take the money as cash given the likely size of the deferred pension. Usually your friend would have to wait until the scheme retirement age (which is either 60 or 65 depending on which part of the scheme she joined).

She can however retire earlier (at age 55 or 50 depending on which part of the scheme she joined) but would receive a reduced pension.

Or there is the option of transferring her benefits out of the NHS scheme altogether into a personal pension arrangement. But I can't stress enough that any decisions on what to do with her NHS pension benefits must not be taken lightly.

There is a section of the NHS pension website which explains the options for NHS deferred members. But I suggest that she seeks independent financial advice before she makes any decisions.

I hope that helps

Best Wishes


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