Understanding Total Reward Statements and Annual Benefit Statements for your NHS pension
Total Reward Statements (TRS) and Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) provide you with a better understanding of the benefits you have or may have access to as an employee of the National Health Service (NHS).
Your TRS will provide personalised information about the value of your employment package and include details about your remuneration and the benefits provided locally by your employer, as well as an estimate of your NHS annual pension income and lump sum entitlement (where applicable). The entitlements are calculated up to a certain date and assume that you take your pension at the normal pension age relevant to the pension scheme.
An ABS is different to a Total Reward Statement (TRS) because it does not include employment or local benefits information.
If you were originally a member of the 1995 or 2008 pension schemes, there will be two parts to the TRS. The TRS will include your pension entitlement for both the 1995/2008 scheme as well as the 2015 scheme.
If you’re relatively new to the NHS pension, you may only have the 2015 section.
How do I access my TRS?
You can access your TRS/ABS on the following website:
Statements are updated annually, usually in August. However, if information isn’t available to NHS Pensions to update them at this point, an updated statement may be available in December.
If your employer uses Electronic Staff Record (ESR), you can use this to access your statement. If your organisation doesn’t currently use ESR, or you used to use GOV.UK Verify to access your statement, you can contact NHS Pensions to get a copy of your statement within 40 working days:
Telephone: 0300 3301 351
You used to be able to access your TRS via GOV.UK Verify, however, this closed on 30 March 2023. A new digital access to Annual Benefit Statements to replace GOV.UK Verify will be introduced
Why can’t I access my TRS?
Your NHS pension information might not be available for a number of reasons:
- You’re a new member to the NHS Pension Scheme with less than one year’s membership.
- You’re already receiving an NHS pension and are no longer employed by the NHS.
- Your membership record has not been updated by your employer – this means that NHS Pensions do not have the information they need to calculate your ABS.
- Your identifying information, such as name or address, has mismatched with what is on your NHS pension record, which means your TRS/ABS cannot be displayed.
- Your pension record is too complex or further investigation is required. This could be because you’re:
- A male nurse with a different normal pension age (55/60)
- Drawing down some of your pension
- Buying additional pension, added years or Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out (ERRBO)
- A practitioner who has chosen to move into a different scheme or section
- A practitioner who left the scheme before 1 October 2009
- Holding concurrent officer and practitioner roles
This list isn’t exhaustive and there may be other reasons why your TRS/ABS cannot be viewed.
Why is it important to obtain my TRS/ABS?
As well as giving you an idea of your pension benefits and aiding in retirement planning, it can highlight gaps or errors in the information held by NHS Pensions.
You can make sure these are corrected early on rather than years later or on retirement. Trusts and PCSE do make errors, so it’s important that these are checked carefully.
A TRS or ABS can also allow a specialist IFA or medical accountant to review your pension, estimate your pension growth for the year, identify whether you’re subject to the annual allowance tax charge and project forwards to aid in future decisions.
Sign up to receive the latest news from Larking Gowen