The outcome of the NHS retirement flexibilities consultation was published in March.
From April 2023, doctors in the 1995 scheme will be able to ‘retire and rejoin’ – effectively retire, draw their NHS pension benefits and rejoin the 2015 scheme to accrue further benefits. There is a minimum 24-hour break before rejoining however, the previous 16-hour limit on the number of hours worked in the first month has been removed.
From October 2023, doctors can also retain their current role (including the same terms and conditions of their contract) while accessing partial retirement. The new plans give those age 55 and above, the choice to take between 20 and 100 per cent of their pension benefits in one or two drawdown payments.
The advantage here is that doctors can retain their same job role – this is often not the case when they choose to ‘retire and return’ and can lose their status, allowances or benefits in the process.
One issue however, is that those choosing this option must reduce their pensionable pay by at least 10 per cent. New guidance has been promised as to how this might work in practice, but could include an option to make some PAs non-pensionable.
Choice 2 election
The consultation stated that some members who moved their accrued 1995 scheme benefits into the 2008 section as part of the previous ‘Choice 2’ election will now be offered the opportunity to reverse their decision as part of the McCloud Remedy. It is believed that members may have moved previously because of the lack of flexibility in the 1995 scheme at the time of the exercise.
From April 2023, the date that the 2015 pension scheme is revalued each year will be moved from 1 April to 6 April. It is intended that this will remove the valuation anomaly producing skewed pension growth and subsequently, larger pension tax payments.
Approver Quilter Financial Services Limited & Quilter Mortgage Planning Limited. 18/04/2023