We understand that making decisions about your pension can be challenging. That’s why our dedicated Pensions Portal is here to support you in understanding your options by directing you to the right information, to help you make those important decisions about your future.  

Frequently Asked Questions

This information will be useful for anyone who is thinking about retirement and taking their pension.

I'm thinking about taking early retirement, how does this affect my pension?

  • The earliest age that you can draw your pension is known as the minimum pension age.  

  • The earliest age you can retire is dependent on which pension scheme you are on, either at 50 or 55.  

  • If you are thinking of retiring early, the amount you can claim may be less than your pension and retirement lump sum.

What next?

This fact sheet can help you understand what percentage you will be able to take out.  

This calculator can help you understand how much of your pension you may get

I'm thinking about taking my pension, what do I need to do?

If you are looking at taking or applying for your pension, first you will need to understand the retirement process outlined below. 

  • First you must formally agree your date of retirement with your line manager and hand in your notice of resignation in accordance with your organisation’s Retirement policy.  

  • Once this date has been agreed, your line manager needs to send a Termination Form to the Employee Services department: rwh-tr.bcwbccg.payroll@nhs.net 

  • Upon receipt of the Termination Form, your Employee Services Officer will post a Retirement Application Pack to your home address – please ensure the correct address is held for you on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) payroll system.  

  • If you are ready to proceed, you will need to complete either the AW8, AW8P or AW8PC form depending on your circumstances. To help you decide which form you will need, read the factsheet below. 

  • The forms will be provided by your employer or can be downloaded below. This will need to be submitted ideally six months before the intended retirement date. It is always advised to ask your employer for the most up-to-date forms.  

What next?

Before you make your decision, this retirement guide will explain the process.  

This video will show you how you can apply

This factsheet will explain which form you will need to request from your employer or download to start the process

Download the AW8 form

Download the AW8P form

Download the AW8PC form

How do I calculate my pension?

  • Depending on what pension scheme you are on, there are different ways of receiving it. You will either receive it as a full lump sum, or request to take part of it as a lump sum. Use the guides below to work out how much you may get.  

  • NHS Pensions produce an annual statement for active members every August called the Total Reward Statement (TRS). This can be found on your ESR Self Service page. 

  • The NHS Pension tab on your TRS will show the current value of your benefits inclusive of all Scheme membership from any previous NHS employments or transferred-in membership. It also provides details of your Normal Pension Age. This is the age that your benefits become payable without any reduction. 

  • If you have membership in more than one section of the Scheme, this will be split on your TRS into 1995, 2008 and 2015 as applicable. 

What next?

This factsheet can help you find out how pensions are calculated.  

This calculator can help you find how much of your pension you may get if you would like to exchange some of your pension in return for a lump sum.  

Access your Total Reward Statement (TRS) which can be viewed via ESR or via NHSBSA. This will include an Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) for Pension Scheme members. Your ABS will show the current value of your pension. If you are in the 1995 Scheme, you can also see your predicted pension at your Normal Pension Age.  

You may be able to retire and return to a different or similar role within the NHS. This information will be useful for anyone who has already taken their pension and is interested in returning in the future. 

 I would like to return to work after retiring. Can I do this and how does this affect my pension?

Yes, you may be able to do this, however it depends on which Pension Section or Scheme you are part of.  

  • If you were part of the 1995 Scheme, pensionable re-employment is not permitted unless you retired on ill-health grounds and return to employment before reaching the age of 50.  

  • If you are part of the 2008 or 2015 Scheme, you may be able to return to work. 

  • In all circumstances, you will need to take a minimum break of 24 hours before returning to work. 

What next?

This video will explain the retiring and returning process.  

This decision tree will help you understand if pensionable re-employment is permitted

This factsheet will help you understand if you can re-join after retiring.  

I would like to return to work after taking ill-health retirement. Can I do this and how does it affect my pension? 

  • Yes, you may be able to do this. However, it depends on which Pension Section or Scheme you are part of, the date you retired, the type of ill-health pension you have received and your age when you return to work.  

  • There may also be time restrictions on how long you will be able to work.  

What next?

This video will explain the retiring and returning process after ill-health

This factsheet will help you understand if you can re-join after ill-health.  

When I return, how is my pension affected?

  • Your pension is not affected if you are over the Normal Pension Age. 

  • For 1995 Scheme members, this is 60. For 2008 Scheme members, this is 65. For 2015 Scheme members, this is 65.  

  • Your NHS Pension may be reduced if you return to work after early retirement.  

What next?

This factsheet will help you understand how your pension will be affected

You can choose to opt in or opt out of an NHS Pension Scheme. This information will be useful for anyone who is interested in joining. 

How do I join the NHS Pension Scheme?

  • You will be automatically enrolled at the start of your employment.  

  • If you have opted out previously, you can still opt in by re-joining. You can re-join a scheme if you took a 1995 Section ill-health pension and are under 50, or if you took a 2008 Scheme or 2015 Scheme pension and are under 75.  

  • If you want to re-join after a break of five years or more, you will need to fill out a form which can be downloaded below.  

What next?

This factsheet can help you understand your eligibility

Download this form if you wish to re-join the pension after a break of five years or more. 

How much will I contribute, and how much will my employer contribute?

  • Your employer will contribute 20.6%, however your contributions are dependent on your salary, ranging from 5% to 14.5%.  

  • Pension banding is based upon the whole-time annual equivalent of your pensionable earnings, including any enhancements. This means that the figure used to determine your contribution rate may be higher than your annual salary Band on the Agenda for Change (AFC) Pay Scales, as they do not include enhancements. 

  • When you first start your new NHS employment, your contribution band will be based on your starting salary. If you do earn more than this basic rate then your contributions will increase from the next 1 April, if applicable. 

  • The contribution bands are shown in the table below: 


Pensionable pay (whole time equivalent) / Earnings used to assess contributions rate 

Contribution rate from 1 April 2015 

Up to £15,431.99 


£15,432.00 to £21,477.99 


£21,478.00 to £26,823.99 


£26,824.00 to £47,845.99 


£47,846.00 to £70,630.99 


£70,631.00 to £111,376.99 


£111,377.00 and over 



What next?

Visit the NHSBSA website to see how much you may contribute. 

This video explains how much you may contribute

This website explains how much your employer may contribute.  

What are the benefits of joining the NHS Pension Scheme?

Preparing for the future is an important aspect of your career, and a pension scheme may help you manage your finances when it comes to retirement age. By joining, you can benefit from employer contributions, family benefits, ill-health benefits and increases to your pension.

What next?  

This video explains the benefits of joining the NHS Pension Scheme. 

What happens to my pension if I leave the NHS?

You may be able to transfer your pension benefits to another provider.

What next?

This guide explains the process of opting out of your pension.  

Understand your pension with the new pensions portal

National programmes of support

Our national programmes of support are here to guide you with all NHS England and Wales Pension Scheme queries.  

NHSEI Pension Support Service 

The national NHS England and NHS Improvement Pension Support Service portal provides access to information and also offers face-to-face support. This service is for existing NHS employees who are part of an NHS Pension Scheme.  


NHSBSA Pensions Online Member Hub 

This is the national support hub for existing NHS employees who are members of the NHS Pension Scheme. This service is for employees thinking of joining and existing NHS employees who are part of an NHS Pension Scheme. 


NHSBSA Pensions Online Employer Hub  

An internal online tool to update and amend pension records. This service is for employers who would like to access pensions functionalities for employees.  


Contacts and support available in your trust

Here you can find links and contacts for pension support that are available in your trust.  


Contact details

Address Trafalgar House, 2nd Floor, 47-49 King Street,Dudley, West Midlands DY2 8PS
Telephone 01922 607000
Email bchft.communications@nhs.net

Contact details

Address The Corporate Service Centre (Building 12), The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton Road, WV10 0QP
Email rwh-tr.pensions@nhs.net

Internal Hub Page: Payroll Services - Pensions

Contact details


Payroll Services, Corbett Outpatients, Vicarage Road, Stourbridge, DY8 4JB

Email dgft.pensions@nhs.net  
Telephone 01384 244770

Contact details

Address Brierley Hill Health and Social Care Centre, Venture Way, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 1RU
Email Claire.finch@nhs.net (Deputy Employee Services Manager, The Royal Wolverhampton Trust)


Pension support service – please note, this link is internal and may only be accessible from your internal intranet.  

Sign up to the members newsletter: https://nhs.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=73c3d4c9798efad92c827e730&id=a7c9326795  

Address New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton Road

Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV10 0QP

Email Claire.finch@nhs.net (Deputy Employee Services Manager)

Address Sandwell Hospital, Lyndon, West Bromwich, B71 4HJ 

0121 507 6655 option 3 

(lines open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) 


Address NHS Pensions, PO Box 2269, Bolton, BL6 9JS
Telephone 0300 330 1346
Email nhsbsa.pensionsmember@nhsbsa.nhs.uk


Address Millennium Point, Waterfront Business Park, Waterfront Way, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 1LX
Telephone 01384 215555


These events are for clinical colleagues (e.g. nurses, GP nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and senior medical staff).  If you are close to retirement, you should secure your place on a seminar using the following booking link: 


Relevant for mid/late career, those who are affected or could be affected by pensions tax.

This session will provide you with a background to the pensions tax regime in the UK, focusing on the Lifetime and Annual Allowances. You will be taken through examples that will help you judge whether you might be affected by any of these particular tax issues, which have become more applicable to members of the NHS Pension Scheme.  

Relevant for mid/late career. 

This session will provide you with a background to the benefits you have in the NHS Pensions Scheme, including the way your benefits are calculated, how and when you can take them, and what other flexibilities you might have if you want to work for longer in the NHS, including how this may affect your benefits. 

Relevant for staff at all career stages.

This session will provide you with an overview of the NHS Pension Scheme, including how much the scheme costs, how the pension builds up, how to keep track of your pension and what other benefits are available from the scheme (for example life assurance). 

May be relevant for anyone with service pre 31 March 2012 AND after 1 April 2015.

This session will provide you with a background to the pension changes happening on 1 April 2022, and how these might affect your benefits. It will guide you through the changes that will be made to achieve the equal treatment of all members of the NHS Pension Scheme (the McCloud Remedy) and how this might affect what you can expect to see when you retire.