Pay and pension

Yes, you will be remunerated for any work you do in a way that reflects the responsibilities you undertake. This will be discussed and negotiated with you at the point of your return into work based upon your individual circumstances.

Yes, you will be offered a contract that reflects working hour protections, pay arrangements and annual leave entitlement etc. Your working hours and pattern will be agreed between you and the organisation in which you have decided to work.

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the following arrangements:

  • If staff have already taken their pension, the Government is removing any restrictions on the amount of work they can do without losing any of their pension during the emergency.
  • If they retired from the 1995 NHS Pension Scheme, they will no longer be limited to having to work 16 hours a week in the first four weeks after retirement.
  • If staff are a special class scheme member with the right to take their pension unreduced at age 55, they will no longer be subject to the current restrictions called abatement in the amount of work they are allowed to do before losing their pension between the ages of 55 and 60. This new rule will apply both to retired staff returning to the NHS and those who have already returned to work.

The COVID-19 Bill will provide powers to suspend the 16-hour rule which currently prevents staff who return to work after retirement from the 1995 NHS Pension Scheme from working more than 16 hours per week in the first four weeks after retirement. The Bill also provides powers to suspend abatement for special class status holders in the 1995 Scheme. It also suspends the requirement for staff in the 2008 Section and 2015 NHS Pension Scheme to reduce their pensionable pay by 10% if they elect to ‘draw down’ a portion of their benefits and continue working.

These measures will allow skilled and experienced staff who have recently retired from the NHS to return to work, and they will also allow retired staff who have already returned to work to increase their commitments if required, without having their pension benefits suspended.

Staff who retire from the 1995 Section and return to work are unable to re-join the NHS Pension Scheme (NHSPS), but employers must provide an alternative pension arrangement in line with auto-enrolment legislation. Staff in the 2008 Section or 2015 NHS Pension Scheme can re-join the scheme whilst in receipt of their benefits and build further pension. Such eligible staff will be auto-enrolled into the NHS Pension Scheme on their return to work but can opt-out should they wish.

For further information or advice: