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Becoming a New Member

As an employee of the Health and Social Care Service in Northern Ireland, your employer has automatically included you in the HSC Pension Scheme.

The HSC Pension Scheme is a defined benefit scheme and an important and valuable staff benefit for people working in the health service.  Being a member of the HSC Pension Scheme is one of the ways in which you can prepare financially for your retirement.  Both you and your employer (who make a substantial payment) contribute towards the cost of your pension.  All deductions are subject to tax relief and are taken monthly or weekly depending on your pay frequency, direct from you salary by your payroll department.  These contributions are submitted to HSC Pension Service.  .

Your employer should provide you with a copy of the HSC Pension Service Scheme Guide. If, after reading the information, you decide that you do not wish to be a member of the scheme, you can opt out by completing an .

You should note that after the introduction of the statutory Automatic Enrolment provisions, if you opt out of the scheme your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme every three years.

Before opting out, you should note the benefits available to you as a member of the scheme:

  • When you have built up two years membership, you will become entitled to an index linked pension at normal pension age which guarantees a regular monthly income after you retire.
  • If you were a member of the scheme prior to 1st April 2008, you will automatically receive a lump sum and also have the option to exchange some of your pension to  increase your lump sum.
  • If you joined the scheme after 1st April 2008, there is no automatic lump sum, but you have the option to exchange part of your pension for a tax free lump sum.
  • On joining, you may be able to transfer in pension credit from another scheme (this must be done within 12 months of joining the scheme).
  • You will have the option to purchase additional pension benefits by paying extra contributions which can be deducted along with your regular contributions or paid as a lump sum.
  • If you become too ill to work, you may apply to receive your pension early and could receive benefits based on the service accrued to ill health retirement or, if found to be permanently incapable of working, you would receive enhanced benefits.
  • Should you die before retirement and are still in HSC employment, a death grant of two times pensionable pay will be paid to your legal spouse, registered civil partner or nominated beneficiary.
  • You have the facility to nominate who you would like any lump sum or pension payable to go to in the event of your death.
  • You can provide benefits for your family and other dependants after you retire or if you die before retirement.
  • If you leave HSC employment before you retire, there are options available to you such as transferring to another scheme, preserving the benefits built up until your normal pension age or receiving a refund of your contributions if you have less than two years membership. Details about transferring in and out, purchasing additional pension, nominating death benefits, and more can be obtained from this website.  Alternatively you can contact us on 028 7131 9111 or email or use the contact us form on the contact page of this website.
  • You can also choose to top up your pension with Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) from our recommended in house provider, Standard Life.

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