SC status applies to members in particular employment groups who were members of the NHS Pension Scheme before 6 March 1995. These employment groups include:

  • nurses including student nurses and occupational health nurses
  • physiotherapists
  • midwives
  • health visitors.

Nursery nurses and physiotherapy helpers are not included.

SC status was abolished from 6 March 1995. Members who already held the status on or before 6 March 1995 can keep it until retirement if they:

  • continue membership in qualifying employment
  • do not have a break in membership of 5 years or more.

Members with SC status can continue to keep their SC status in the 2015 Scheme but it only counts towards an earlier retirement age for benefits in the 1995 Section.

Read more information about SC on our website.


If you have SC status your normal retirement age is 55. You can retire at age 55 with unreduced benefits if:

  • you’re in a SC post on the date of your retirement
  • you’ve been a SC member for the last 5 years of pensionable employment.

The 5 years of pensionable employment does not need to be continuous service.

Left pensionable employment or opted out of the Scheme

If you leave pensionable employment or opt-out of the Scheme before age 55 and do not return, your benefits will become deferred and your normal retirement age will be 60.


You can claim your 1995 Section benefits at age 55 if you were a SC member for the last 5 years of pensionable employment before your redundancy.


If the gender you were assigned at birth is male and you have SC status you can retire at age 55.

The benefits based on your membership from 17 May 1990 will not be reduced. The benefits for membership before this date will be reduced, unless you ask to have these benefits deferred.

Multiple jobs

If you’ve spent the last 5 years in a SC status job, you can retire from all jobs at age 55 without any reduction to your NHS Pension.

Non-GP provider

If you become a Non-GP provider and continue to perform the same duties as you did in your SC post, you can keep your SC status.

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