Reader’s Question – What will happen to my NHS pension if I retire early?

1 min Read Published: 12 Jul 2011

Get an answer to your financial question online Reader's Question:

I am a qualified N.H.S working as a sister in pain management. I am aged 56, would I take reduced pension sum if I retired today? I am in the 1995 section.

My response:

Hi there,

The short answer is that yes you will if you retire before your normal retirement age – which I am assuming is 60 unless you have some form of Special Class dispensation. How the scheme work out your reduced pension is by the scheme applying what is known as an actuarial reduction to the pension you would have received if the date of retirement had been the standard scheme retirement age.

Full details can be found in the NHS Member Scheme Booklet.

But fortunately the NHS pension scheme have made life easier and produced an NHS Pension Calculator which not only shows you what you might get if you retire at your normal retirement age but what you might receive if you retire early.

Fantastic stuff.

But before you decide anything discuss your situation with NHS Pensions (on 0845 421 4000) and read this FREE guide Your options at retirement*.

I hope that helps

Best Wishes


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  1. hi,
    i’m planning on retiring at 55 and have special class status, ive recieved an estimate of pension and lump sum but am wanting to calculate what i will actually have in hand, what taxes will be payable on the lump sum and monthly pension?

    1. The lump sum will be tax-free while the monthly pension will be subject to income tax under the usual PAYE method.

      If you know the gross pension figure you will receive then enter the figure into this PAYE Income Tax Calculator to see what your net pension will be (i.e. what you take home).

      Obviously the calculator uses today’s tax rates which will likely change before you retire. But it gives you a ball park figure.

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