Flexible Retirement

Members of the NHS Pension Scheme have several options open to them as they approach pensionable age. This flexibility allows employees to find the best set of circumstances to meet the needs of both themselves and the the organisation they work for.

The options open to you will depend on which NHS Pension Scheme(s) you have service in:

  1995 Scheme 2008 Scheme 2015 Scheme
Step Down Yes Yes Yes
Wind Down Yes Yes Yes
Retire and Return* Yes Yes Yes
Draw Down No Yes Yes
Late Retirement Enhancement No Yes Yes
Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out No No Yes


If you are a member of the 2015 Pension Scheme and are interested in an Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out (ERRBO), please see the ERRBO page.If you are unsure of which Pension Scheme(s) you have service in, you can view this in your Total Reward Statement.

Step Down

Staff may be able to 'step down' to a different role, giving a chance to reduce their responsibility while remaining in NHS employment. This supports the organisation to retain the individuals skills and experience while supporting the staff member to approach retirement.

Wind Down

Staff can 'wind down' to retirement by remaining in their current post, but reducing the number of hours or days they work.

Retire and Return to NHS Employment

You can leave your employment, take your NHS pension benefits and return to NHS employment. Note: If you are a member of the 1995 Scheme, you are not eligible to re-join the NHS Pension Scheme on your return to employment.

If you are considering retiring and returning to work, please familiarise yourself with the Flexible Retirement Policy and the Flexible Retirement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You will then need to raise a query with HR Direct, HR Direct will be able to talk you through the options available to you on your return.

Additional information can be found on NHS Pension Members Hub - Applying for your pension.

Draw Down

Members can take part of their pension benefits and continue in NHS employment. This means that staff can continue working while benefiting from being able to partially draw down their pension benefits and supplement their income.

Late Retirement Enhancement

If a member chooses to retire later than their normal pension age, their pension benefits will be increased by the application of late retirement factors.