Membership data from the NHS Pension Scheme shows the number of hospital doctors and general practitioners (GPs) claiming their pension earlier than their normal retirement age. We cannot identify consultants separately, who belong to the hospital doctor group. This group also contains associate specialists and doctors in training. However, claiming a National Health Service pension does not necessarily mean the individual has left NHS service permanently. The 'retire and return' employment flexibility enables NHS employers to support skilled and experienced staff who may otherwise retire and leave service, to continue working longer.
The following table shows the number of hospital doctors and GPs claiming their NHS pension on a voluntary early retirement basis from the 1995 NHS Pension Scheme.