The Guide for Pensioners and their Dependants is designed to answer your questions regarding your retirement and receiving your HSC Pension. You should read this booklet before applying for your benefits.

How to apply for your benefits

Active members

When you are retiring you need to apply for your benefits using a form which is available from your employer.  To ensure that you receive your benefits on time this should be completed at least four months before your intended retirement date.

Ill health

Please go to this page for the information you will need to apply for an Ill health retirement.

More information can be found in the Guide for Pensioners and their Dependants available to view or download in our Pension Scheme Guide section. You can also find out if you are affected by the Lifetime Allowance and other tax rules that apply to members of the HSC Pension Scheme in the Tax Information section.

Payment of benefits

When you retire your pension is usually paid monthly in arrears into a UK bank account for the rest of your life. For those living abroad we can usually arrange to pay your benefits into a bank account there, providing it can accept secure electronic payments.

If you decide not to maintain a bank account in the UK, we can make payments direct to your bank account, held in the country specified on the bank mandate, in local currency.

HSC Pension Service are fully index-linked to protect against inflation. This means that your pension will be increased each year in line with the cost of living, for as long as it is paid. The increases are paid from April. In the first year of your retirement the amount of increase you get will depend on the date you retire.

Different benefits apply to the 1995/2008 section and the 2015 Section of the HSC Pension Scheme and also what type of member you are. To find out which section of the Scheme you belong to please refer to the flowchart in the Scheme Guide available on our Scheme Guide section.

For more information for General Practitioners please see the Practitioner section.

State Pension Scheme and other Pension Schemes

The Scheme is completely separate from the State pension arrangements or any other pension schemes you may have. This means that you will normally get a separate basic state pension as well as your HSC pension.

The Scheme is contracted out of the second level of state pension (known as the State Second Pension (or S2P)) and you will not get any additional pension from this, except for any contributions you may have made in another employment.

If you have arranged your own personal pension, or have pensions from other employment, these are payable as well as your pension from the Scheme but it is up to you to choose when you take these.

Because of pension tax legislation, you may need to tell us about these pensions arrangements including any that are already in payment, when you come to retire.

The HSC Retirement Fellowship

The Fellowship in Northern Ireland has the support and backing of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and all the various Health and Social Care bodies. Membership is open to all grades of staff in HSC services.  The cost of membership is £6.00 per year which can be paid through a monthly deduction of 50p from your HSC Pension or by an annual payment.  If you are interested in becoming a member, or would like some more information about the organisation further details can be found in the guide for pensioners and their dependants.

Scheme fact

The HSC Pension Scheme is contracted-out of S2P under the 1995 Pensions Act. This means that the Scheme has to pass a scheme quality test set out in the Pensions Act. The Scheme actuary has confirmed that the Scheme has passed the test.

Click on the links below to find out more about the benefits at retirement and different types of retirement:

  • Pre-Retirement Presentation
  • When Can I Retire?
    This section provide details about your Normal Retirement age in both 1995 and 2008 sections of the Scheme.
  • Benefits at Retirement
    This section describes the benefits that you can expect to receive from the Scheme when you retire.
  • Retirement Lump Sums (Pensions Commutation)
    From both sections of the Scheme you have the option to give up some of your pension to take as a lump sum. This section provides more information about this and examples to show how this is calculated.
  • Current Pensioners
    Different rules and benefits apply to pensioners depending on when you retired. This section gives more information about this.
  • Working After Retirement
    This section explains your options and the effects on your NHS Pension Scheme benefits if you return to work following your retirement.

Proposed Flexibilities 

Proposed Flexibilities – Partial Retirement