Special Class applies to certain groups of staff who were members of the scheme before 6 March 1995. The special classes include:

  • Nurses
  • Physiotherapists
  • Midwives
  • Health Visitors

Student nurses and occupational health nurses are included in the above but nursery nurses and physiotherapy helpers are not included.

Special Class status was abolished for new entrants to the scheme who joined after 6 March 1995 and for those who return to NHS pensionable employment after 6 March 1995 with a break in pensionable employment of any one period of five years or more. You must have been in a special class role before 6 March 1995 to have Special Class status.

If you have Special Class status your normal retirement age is 55 and you may retire at this age with unreduced benefits providing you have met all relevant criteria.

Please note: The whole of the last 5 years of pensionable employment must have been spent as a SC member. However, the last 5 years need not be continuous service, for example; you could have breaks in employment.

You must be in a special class post immediately prior to retirement. If you leave pensionable employment before age 55 and do not return your benefits will become deferred and your normal retirement age will be 60.

If you are male and have Special Class status you may retire at age 55 but only your benefits based on your membership from 17 May 1990 will be unreduced. All benefits for membership prior to this date will be actuarially reduced unless you request to have these benefits deferred.

For more information please see the Special Class factsheet on our website.

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