Can I Take My NHS Pension at 60 and Carry on Working?

Yes, you can take your NHS pension at 60 and continue working in the NHS. This option is called partial retirement, and it allows you to claim your pension benefits while still contributing to the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.

Here’s what you need to know about partial retirement:


  • You must be aged 55 or over.
  • You must have agreement from your employer.
  • You must be a member of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.


  • You can take between 20% and 100% of your pension benefits.
  • You can continue building your pension in the 2015 Scheme.
  • You don’t need to take a break from work or change jobs.


  • Your pensionable pay will be reduced by 10% for the first year (or your pensionable commitment by 10% if you’re a Practitioner).
  • You will need to work with your employer to adjust your hours or reshape your contract.
  • All flexible working options are subject to agreement with your employer.


Let’s say you are a 55-year-old member of the 1995 Section of the NHS Pension Scheme. You have a pensionable salary of £47,672. You decide to take 100% of your 1995 Section benefits at age 55 and partially retire, reducing your hours by 50%. You then return to work on a part-time salary of £24,670 and continue contributing to the 2015 Scheme.

Here’s what your pension benefits might look like:

  • Partially retire at 55:
    • 1995 Section benefits: £13,348 per year for life
    • Lump sum: £44,449
  • Fully retire at 60:
    • 2015 Section benefits: £8,239 per year for life

Additional Information:

  • Partial retirement is available to members of the 1995 Section from 1 October 2023.
  • During each year of active service, your 2015 Scheme pension is reviewed to keep in line with the rise in the cost of living.
  • Once you start receiving your pension, your benefits will continue to be reviewed each year to keep up with living costs.

For more information on partial retirement, please visit the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I take my NHS pension at 60 and still work in another job?

A: Yes, you can take your NHS pension at 60 and still work in another job. However, your pension may be reduced if your earnings from the other job are above a certain level.

Q: Can I take my NHS pension at 60 and then return to work full-time?

A: Yes, you can take your NHS pension at 60 and then return to work full-time. However, you will need to start contributing to the NHS Pension Scheme again.

Q: What happens to my NHS pension if I die before I reach retirement age?

A: If you die before you reach retirement age, your spouse or civil partner will be entitled to a survivor’s pension. Your children may also be entitled to a pension.

Q: Where can I find more information about the NHS Pension Scheme?

A: You can find more information about the NHS Pension Scheme on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Removing the 16-hour rule

If you decide to re-join the NHS, you will be able to work as many hours as you choose immediately under the changes that take effect on April 1, 2023.

Members had to work a maximum of 16 hours per week in the first month following retirement in order to avoid having their pension payments impacted by Section rules up until April 1, 1995.

The DHSC is now permanently eliminating this rule as of 1 April 2023 after it was temporarily suspended from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2023. This means you can start building 2015 benefits right away by switching to a new employment contract as long as you’ve taken a 24-hour break from your previous job.

In addition to eliminating the 16-hour rule, the DHSC is amending the 1995 Section regulations to do away with the 16-hour rule for members who hold multiple jobs. For members who work more than one job, they must take a 24-hour break from each job in order to receive their pension.

If there may be an impact on your pension after returning to work (abatement)

Your pension will not be impacted if you return to work for the NHS if you are over the normal pension age, which is 65 for 2008 Section members, 60 for 1995 Section members, and the State Pension Age, or 65 if later, for 2015 Scheme members.

Furthermore, if you retired before the standard pension age, your benefits will remain unaffected.

  • You retired on or after October 1, 2011, and you receive redundancy benefits. This is due to the fact that a portion or all of your lump sum from redundancy compensation was used to fund the unreduced portion of your pension.
  • you are in receipt of actuarially reduced early retirement benefits. This is as a result of the actuarial reduction that you used to finance the early payment of your benefits.

Your pension could be impacted by any other early retirement options, such as “retirement in the interest of efficiency of the service.”

Your pension may be reduced if, before reaching your normal retirement age, you return to work for the NHS or re-enter the workforce in relation to the delivery of NHS-funded services. This is known as abatement.

The amount you made when you were reemployed will determine whether or not your pension is decreased.

This will also rely on when you departed the Plan, when you made your pension benefit claim, and what kind of benefit you made the claim for.

When you reach the normal pension age of the Section or Scheme from which you have received your pension benefits, the abatement rules expire.

Until March 31, 2025, abatement for Special Class or Mental Health Officer status is presently suspended.

This means that, as long as abatement is suspended, Special Class and Mental Health Officer members will not lose out on pension payments if they return to work for the NHS or take on more responsibilities.

After the suspension expires, you will normally be eligible for abatement until you turn 60.

Understanding the NHS Pension Scheme

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