Working parents

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What happens to my pension?

NHS-employed doctors

If you have indicated that you are going to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave, then you and your employer, will continue to contribute to the NHS pension scheme for the period of maternity leave.

Your contributions will include:

  • during full pay maternity leave - contributions are payable on full pay
  • during reduced pay maternity leave - contributions are payable on reduced pay
  • during unpaid maternity leave - contributions continue to be payable at the rate applicable during reduced pay maternity leave.

If you are on on reduced pay or unpaid maternity leave the employer continues to pay contributions as if no pay reduction  had occurred.

If you choose not return to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave, you must be given the opportunity to extend your pensionable service to take account of the statutory maternity leave. If there is entitlement to paid leave, then contributions must be paid on the actual pay received. Contributions during unpaid leave will be based on the rate of pay applicable during reduced paid leave. If a choice is made not to pay contributions during unpaid leave, then pensionable service will cease on the last day contributions are paid.

If for any reason benefits become payable under the NHS pension scheme during a period of reduced pay or unpaid maternity leave, pensionable pay will be calculated as if no reduction in pay had occurred.

See our pensions' team guidance on maternity, paternity and parental leave and how it may affect your NHS pension.


Doctors not covered by the NHS scheme

Occupational pension schemes

During periods of paid ordinary or additional maternity leave an employer’s pension contribution should be calculated as if the employee is working normally.

If the rules of the scheme require the employee to contribute towards her occupational pension her contribution should be based on the amount of contractual pay or Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) which is being paid to her.