Doctors, whether they are full time or less than full time, are eligible to join the NHS pension scheme if they are employed by the NHS.
Contributions rates for junior doctors into the NHS pension scheme (i.e. the percentage of your basic salary that is contributed into the pensions scheme), are calculated based on the full time salary (excluding banding supplement). For doctors joining the scheme in year 2012-13, the current employee contribution rate for earnings between £21,176 - £26,557 is 6.5% and for earnings between £26,558 - £48,982 is 8.0%.
Contribution rates for doctors in less than full time training posts are calculated based on their full time equivalent pensionable income. For example, if you work 50% of a full time training programme and your actual part time salary is below £13,278, you will continue to pay 6.5% of your part time salary towards the scheme because your full time equivalent salary is below £26,557.
What you need to do
Membership of the NHS Pension Scheme is voluntary. On joining your NHS employer, you will automatically be made a member, unless you decide to opt out of joining.
The NHS pension scheme of England & Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all follow very similar rules and service accrued in one scheme can be transferred to another - it is important to remember that you have twelve months in which to transfer your benefits when you take up a new post in a different part of the UK.
Occupational pension schemes, such as the NHS scheme, are required to provide members with benefit statements upon request (no more than once a year). Doctors who wish to obtain an estimate of their pension should write to their employer in the first instance, or direct to the NHS Pensions Division or equivalent in Scotland (Scottish Public Pensions Agency) or Northern Ireland (HSC).