New Joiners

The Case

Sunny is 27 years of age and, on the 1st August 2013, successfully applied for a job  as an ICU Staff Nurse in her local hospital in the North of England.  The job details are as follows:

Job Type – Permanent

Staff Group – Nursing & Midwifery

Pay Scheme – Agenda for Change

Pay Band – 5

It is a full time post on the Agenda for Change Pay-scale level 5, with an entry point of £22,903.  She had been working abroad but moved back to the UK in 2012 with her husband and two year old son.

She is concerned about the changes to the NHS pension scheme and what other benefits  she would receive, especially now that she has a young family.

The Issues

  • Sunny would like to know which pension scheme she will be joining and how it works as she has been told about 1995/2008/2015.
  • Life Cover
  • Sick Pay

The Options

At the moment, Sunny does not have an option as to which pension scheme she joins. She will be enrolled in the ‘2008 section’ of the scheme. This is a final salary scheme based upon a 1/60th accrual rate with a retirement age of 65. However, as Sunny has more than 10 years until her normal retirement age, at the appropriate point she will be converted to the new 2015 scheme. This will change how her pension is calculated and when she can draw the benefits. She would have started paying at a rate of 6.8% of her reckonable salary as a personal contribution to the scheme (increased in 2014/15 to 7.1%).

Once Sunny has been employed for at least two years, she will have twice her reckonable pay as life cover or £45,806 payable to her nominated next of kin. She would also be entitled to a widows pension of 37.5% of her notional Tier 2 ill health retirement pension, plus a short term pension payable at rate of her pensionable pay for the first six months. As Sunny has a dependent child under the age of 23 she would receive for him – 18.75% of her notional Tier 2 ill health retirement pension. If she has other children, this will change.

Sunny will be entitled to sick pay on the following basis:

Length of ServiceFull PayHalf Pay
0 – 4 months1 month 
Next 8 months1 month1 month
1 year2 months2 months
2 years4 months4 months
3 years5 months5 months
5 years +6 months6 months

Up to this point it is best for Sunny to join the ‘2008 section’ scheme and perhaps arrange to speak to us closer to 2015 to discuss how the new changes will affect her.

For further information please refer to the following section:

What is The NHS Pension