Delayed retirement – frequently asked questions

All NHS staff employed on the Agenda for Change national employment contract (the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook) have the contractual right to request flexible working from the very first day they start working for the NHS, regardless of their role, grade or reason for wanting to work flexibly. 

The NHS flexible working arrangements support the principle that all NHS staff, where possible should be supported to work in a way that best suits their personal needs and preferences.

If you are a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, there are flexible retirement options which can complement flexible working by helping you retire gradually. It may be helpful to get information about the specific scheme or schemes you are part of and the flexibilities that are open to you, as well as financial information about your pension to help you think through the number of hours you would like to work and the amount you want to earn, as well as the different options for potentially continuing to pay into the pension scheme.

For more information please visit:

Your organisation’s policies should encourage an exploratory stage where your manager looks at all the options for reaching a mutually agreeable outcome.

Where your request has not been agreed, it may be worth checking with your line manager or HR team if there is an escalation stage to see if there are any further options beyond your immediate team within the organisation where your flexible working preferences could be accommodated.

For requests that have not been agreed, your employer will explain the specific reasons in writing, , including alternatives considered, together with details of the appeals process.

For more information please visit:

The level of contributions you pay is related to your pensionable earnings or whole time equivalent if you work part time. Lower paid staff pay less than higher paid staff. Your employer contributes 20.6% and depending on what you earn, you will contribute between 5% and 14.5%.

You receive tax relief on your contributions so the amount you pay will be less. The NHS Pension Scheme is great value for money, a tax efficient way for most NHS staff to save for their retirement, offering valuable benefits for you and your loved ones.

For more information please visit: