Retire and return

Having a salary coming in can give you real peace of mind. What if you could take your pension and top it up with a salary too – that would give you best of both worlds. If you retire and return you can come back to a role that works for you, and it means your experience and skills aren’t lost forever.

Please consider if you can afford to retire. As currently, members of the 1995 Section cannot build up any more pension if they retire and return to work in the NHS.

The example below is of a member with Special Class Status.


What would it mean for my pension if I retired and came back to work in a different role?

Pension income Lump sum Salary
Retire at 55: £18,451 a year for life Lump sum of £46,765
Retire at 55 and return to work: £18,451* a year for life £46,765 paid at 55 Earn an income on top of your pension amount

*subject to abatement – depending on new salary amount.

Example assumptions

  • The member was protected from moving to the 2015 scheme on 1 April 2015 and so remained in the 1995 scheme beyond this date. If they continue working beyond 1 April 2022, all benefits built up from this date will be in the 2015 scheme.
  • Individual is a Special Class status member who reached age 55 after 31 March 2022, so did not have full protection from moving into the 2015 Scheme.
  • Individual does not have Mental Health Officer Status.
  • Individual has a pensionable salary of £44,503 (Band 7).
  • The illustrations are based on the current actuarial factors in force in the Scheme (August 2021 – here).
  • The illustrations do not allow for the uptake of certain options that members may be able to exercise, for example, they do not allow for the exchange of additional pension for cash.
  • Salary increases after the 2021 award (3%) are assumed to be 2% p.a.
  • Figures quoted may incorporate a small degree of rounding.
  • All of the examples are illustrative only and are not designed to represent the particular circumstances of any one individual. Check your Special Class status, or your Mental Health Officer Status.
  • Find out which pension scheme you are a member of.

See below for more detail

Retire at 55 1995 Section 2015 Scheme Total
Service 28 6 34
Pension £15,588 p.a. £2,863 p.a.* £18,451 p.a.
Lump sum £46,765

*includes early retirement adjustment of 43.7% at 55.

Return to work after retirement

If your pension + new earnings = more than your earnings before retirement, then your pension may be subject to abatement. This means that your pension will be restricted, as shown in the example below.

  Pension Salary Total
Prior to retirement £0 £44,503 £44,503
After retirement £16,751

(£18,451 – £1,700 abatement)

£30,615 £47,366

Talk to your manager to find out more about your flexible working options.

See your personal pension details on your Total Reward Statement

Looking for more flexible working options?