Becoming NHS pension savvy

02 May 2022
Volume 33 · Issue 5

I recently found out that after 42 years of nursing, I have years of underpaid NHS pension contributions and an upsettingly low pension prediction. Therefore I felt compelled to dedicate this editorial to my pension ignorance, in the hope that you are, or become, more pension savvy! I enrolled in the NHS pension in 1978 and continued until the birth of my son in 1983. I reduced my hours, continued to work in my local hospital, took my superannuation, and opted out the NHS pension scheme. First mistake.

I became a general practice nurse (GPN) in early 1997, and yes, in 1997 we were eventually allowed to join what is known as the 1995 NHS pension scheme, which allows us to retire at 60 and pays a final salary pension until we die. However, our final salary pension pay is also based on the number of days we were part of the scheme. Unfortunately, my GP employer had neglected to add me until October 1998. And I had failed to check. Second mistake.

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