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Enhancing NHS pension

Q: I am a 51-year-old GP locum and only joined the NHS Pension Scheme (NHSPS) in 2001. I am paying for added years at a rate of 9% until I reach pension age of 60. Are there any other ways to maximise my pension other than changing my retirement age to 65? I read about the additional pension top-up facility but it seems very expensive.

A: Added years contracts cannot be continued where members join the NHSPS 2008 Section, which has a normal retirement age of 65, under the NHS Pension Choice Exercise.

The only other options for NHSPS members to boost their existing NHSPS benefits are to purchase NHS additional pension (AP) or to make additional voluntary contributions with one of the NHSPS’s nominated providers. 

AP does provide government-backed inflation-linked bene­fits that are guaranteed, unlike the less certain benefits from investment-backed pension arr­angements, such as additional voluntary contributions.

You can buy AP in multiples of £250 (subject to a maximum AP of £5,000 at either 60 or 65 years of age) by regular and/or single contributions.

Kevin Quinn

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