Application to leave the NHS Pension Scheme (SD502)
Opting out - important information
The beneﬁts payable from the NHS Pension Scheme are valuable and anyone considering opting out of the
Scheme should think very carefully before making such an important decision. Before you decide, please
look at the member information on our website at: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-pensions, especially the relevant
Member Guide, factsheets, and the Leaving Early and Transferring Out Guide.
Some general points to help you decide
• As a Scheme member you pay a contribution based on your pensionable pay. Your NHS employer also
contributes 20.6% of your salary towards your pension.
• Contributions are deducted before tax so you receive tax relief on any amount you pay.
• There is a calculator on the NHS Pensions website which you can use to see some of the impacts of opting out.
• Unless you are absent from duty for any reason you may apply to join or rejoin the Scheme at any time
subject to Scheme rules.
• There is a 12 month time limit for making an application to transfer pension beneﬁts into the Scheme that
starts from when you were ﬁrst eligible to join this Scheme. Opting out now may affect your ability to
transfer in previously accrued beneﬁts if you later re-join.
• If you wish to opt out from the start of your NHS employment you must complete form SD502 within the
Beneﬁts you will be giving up if you opt out of the NHS Pension Scheme
• Your right to any further beneﬁts from the Scheme in this employment.
• A pension payable for life fully guaranteed by the Government.
• If you are a member of the 1995 Section you will also get a retirement lump sum. This is usually tax free.
• If you opted out before 1 April 2008 and do not rejoin this Scheme you will not have the option of giving
up some of your pension for a bigger lump sum. This option would normally allow you to receive £12 of
lump sum for every £1 of pension you give up. Lump sums are usually tax free.
• Enhanced ill health retirement beneﬁts if you become too ill to work.
• Life assurance cover (a lump sum payment) and family beneﬁts if you die – pension beneﬁts for your
dependants, including children.
Deciding to opt out of your employer’s occupational pension scheme is a major ﬁnancial decision. If you are
in any doubt about which pension arrangement will be best for you, you may wish to seek independent
ﬁnancial advice. Before you ask for advice, make sure you know which type of ﬁnancial adviser you are dealing
with. Most ﬁnancial advisers will charge for their advice. The Member Guide available on the NHS Pensions
website may be able to help you ﬁnd local independent ﬁnancial advice, please refer to the help and general
information section of the guide.
SD502 - (V21) 12/2019