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Earning after taking pension

(27 Posts)
Flaxseed Sat 26-Mar-22 09:37:33

I’m 58 and working full time as a nurse. This time last week I was with a friend I trained with, chatting about retiring in two years, returning on two days and how we were counting down the days……
During the week, I heard (been confirmed) that our trust was scrapping the retire and return scheme.
This scheme has, up to now, been great. It’s meant we haven’t lost our valuable, experienced members of staff who contribute so much to our department. They are happier and feel useful and valued.

The alternative now will now be writing a cv, applying for our own job, going through the pretty harsh interview process which is based on a points system according to how you answer their questions. The fact you have been doing the job for 42 years will not be the deciding factor. This may involve a maths and English test (I am highly unlikely to pass the maths test as I am awful at maths but thankfully my role does not involve drug calculations!)
Then a DBS check followed by Trust induction of all mandatory training which we are constantly doing in our role, so will be up to date with anyway.
The whole thing will be stressful for us and, in my opinion, a waste of money for the trust. And of course, there are no guarantees.
I’m past the angry phase now and resigned to the fact that my career will end when I retire. I could do bank work, but any extra hours are given to substantive staff first (rightly so) and I would need a regular income so this isn’t really the answer.

I won’t be reapplying for my job.

Which leads me to this……
Any suggestions for a new career between 60 and 67 when I can claim my state pension?
We hope to continue the purchase of a house (problems with paperwork at the mo) with a gorgeous office at the end of the garage, complete with loo and hand washing facilities, which I would like to utilise.
My memory isn’t so great at retaining information anymore so anything too taxing is out!
I am physically ok apart from early arthritic knees.
My current job is very specialised so there’s not much I can transfer from that. I have recently stopped working nights and weekends so don’t want to go back to doing that!
I know I am being fussy but any ideas welcome please!!

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 26-Mar-22 09:43:57

I don’t know much about the NHS , actually I don’t know anything, but can’t you just carry on working in your job until you retire at 67?

Or do you want to go part time? Can’t you just apply to go part time?

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 26-Mar-22 09:47:06

I’ve just googled ‘jobs for retired Nurses’ I couldn’t find anything that allows working from home.

For a new career , what would you enjoy doing? Think about that and try to find a way of doing it and being able to earn from it as well.

Good luck.

Poppyred Sat 26-Mar-22 10:25:10

111 nurses in Wales have been working from home.

Daisymae Sat 26-Mar-22 10:36:19

How about home care work? We had some recently for my DH and they were excellent people. They were part of the reablement process, they had no time limit so none of this rushing in and out. One had formerly been a nurse. Or you could do it privately? Or start your own agency from your office? Childcare? Meeting children from school, giving them tea until parents return from work?

GagaJo Sat 26-Mar-22 10:45:09

I don't know how helpful this will be, because I don't know your qualifications / training etc, BUT I work full-time now as a self employed tutor (English).

There is an enormous market for this. A lot of overseas students will pay between £40 & £120 an hour for my services.

Is there any subject you are currently OR could update some training in? If you have a home office planned, all you would need is an internet connection and a laptop.

Nannarose Sat 26-Mar-22 10:51:07

I spent my entire working life in the NHS, and have to say that I am a little confused.
This is what I understand: you could stay in your current role (you are not required to re-apply for that) BUT if you decide to take your pension, you would be required to re-apply, with all that implies.
I also infer that you either need more income than your current job gives you, or need to retire from your current job anyway.

It is true that ex-nurses are often welcome in many roles, including lots of 'helpline' work, including drug / medical appliances firms and charities. Some of my colleagues have taken jobs in nursing homes where registered nurses and their experience are needed, but the day-to-day work is less stressful than most NHS work (repeating what I have been told, no personal experience).

I would start asking around your NHS colleagues and others that you come across, as these kind of jobs are often 'word of mouth'.
Also, depending on the amount of income you need, many retirees do small jobs, often with small businesses or occasional jobs with local councils

However, I would do your sums carefully. I am not sure which NHS pension scheme you fall under (possibly the old one with the right to retire at 55?). Usually you can continue paying in until you have accumulated a certain number of years which boosts your pension. You may find that taking your pension now disdavantages you later. You can check with NHS pensions, and ask for forecasts (forgive me if you have done this). I would also look carefully at your tax liabilities with the pension and the income you propose to earn.

Good luck!

biglouis Sat 26-Mar-22 10:54:34

As with the above poster I would explore opportunities for working from home on a self employed basis. You can arrange your own schedule and you dont get hammered by PAYE. There are a lot of allowances you can claim as well.

Shandy57 Sat 26-Mar-22 10:56:29

I'd recommend training as a registrar, rather a joyful job I'd imagine marrying two happy people.

Visgir1 Sat 26-Mar-22 11:17:31

That's a shame and a surprise tbh. I have worked all my career in NHS as a Cardiac Physiologist.
Under A4C we all have the same rights, and pay bands, so we all fall into the same T&Cs.
I too took my NHS pension and planned to do something different. After a few months I was asked to join the Hospital Bank, same grade I left on.
As said, check first that it's worth taking now, make sure you don't loose out.

I have been doing that 7 years now, it work brilliantly.
My friend a Band 6 staff nurse, has just done the same, but she wanted a substantive post for 2 days a week in the clinic she ran, plus X1 day on the ward.
it was granted, but due to her contracted hours they have her all over the place she wanted particular days but she struggles to get them.
So is now going to give her days up and join the Hospital Bank.

This also happened to another friend, I advise my chum it could happen as your employed in hours.

Regardless what people think Trusts are desperate for Agency staff, as an experienced Nurse your in the winning seat. A lot of Bank /Agency staff are like me retired from the NHS but not brain dead yet.

Only this week I got a phone call from an Agency asking if I was interested in work, no idea how they got my name.
Has your Hospital got its own Bank staff group?
Or a Agency they use frequently?

Best of luck I'm sure you will make the right call.

Charleygirl5 Sat 26-Mar-22 11:34:51

You could stay in your present job but leave your state pension to grow.

Have you any private hospitals close by? If so maybe you could apply for a post there working the number of days you want and either leaving or taking your pension.

It is easier to find a job when you are still in one.

Farzanah Sat 26-Mar-22 11:36:55

I retired from NHS at 56, was getting burnt out, and took NHS pension which was of course reduced. I then got bank work with the same trust, and they were so short staffed I was turning down work.
I do appreciate that if you need more income this won’t work for you, and of course your state pension will kick in later than mine did.
What I gained was quality of life, and job satisfaction again, choosing what I did, and free time to enjoy other things. I did lose money, but seemed to spend less when not at working full time.

Scribbles Sat 26-Mar-22 12:05:17

If you want to work from your home office, maybe you could look at market research, telemarketing or sales jobs. Some of your existing skills and knowledge would no doubt be useful to the pharmaceutical or home healthcare industries.

As a long-serving nurse, you have most likely developed excellent listening skills so would you consider retraining as a counsellor?

The British Red Cross have vacancies on offer utilising a huge range of skills.

If you do want to get out and about, could you find an interesting and useful rôle with the National Blood Service?

Just a few random thoughts. Good luck with the search and I hope you find something rewarding, in every sense of the word.

Casdon Sat 26-Mar-22 12:54:35

I am ex NHS too, and I think what you have to remember is that returning to work in the NHS once you are drawing your NHS pension has never been an entitlement, it’s discretionary, and every separate NHS organisation has its own policy. I did return to work after drawing mine, on a fixed term basis. I always understood that it was a favour not a right, and would have been happy to jump through the necessary hoops or retraining if required, I continued to do CPD, and discretionary and mandatory refreshers etc. anyway. If you’re on the original pension scheme it disadvantages your pension to reduce your hours, so if you aren’t up for jumping through the hoops to be reemployed, returning and taking alternative employment is your best option. You could consider working in a GP surgery, as a sales rep for a Medical aids company or drug company, for a charity, at a hospice or a council run day centre, there are actually lots of options out there for nurses, so I would make use of your skills. .

Flaxseed Sat 26-Mar-22 15:52:00

I want to go part time when I turn 60.
The plan was to retire at 60, take my lump sum to clear the mortgage. Then work part time until 67. Until last week that was entirely possible. Now the only way to work after taking the pension (in our trust) is to reapply for my own job confused
Financially, physically and mentally that plan would have worked out perfect. Now that plan will have to be reconsidered.
I can’t afford to go part time at 60 without receiving my work pension.
I need to think long and hard about what I can do instead.
Daisymae I had thought about after school care. I’m guessing I would need an Ofsted review though. Nothing seems straightforward anymore! I will add it to the list though.
If I can’t do my own nursing role part time, I’m not really interested in any other nursing role as I have become deskilled in other areas.
Nannarose Unfortunately, I will have to reapply for my job with no guarantees I would get it.
I am in the old (1995) scheme where I could have retired at 55 had I not stupidly come out of the scheme for a few years after having DD2. hmm
I was on a tapered transfer to the 2017 in around 2019.
Had I not come out of the scheme, and had in fact retired at 55, I would now be part time, doing the same job at the same grade.
As of this week, that scheme has been scrapped angry
When I ask around - most people around my age want out of the NHS altogether and have plans for completely different things.
visgirl Our department relies heavily on bank staff (rarely uses agency) but shifts are given to substantive staff first.
Shifts wouldn’t be guaranteed and as I need a regular income, I can’t rely on that.
I am too deskilled to work in other departments unfortunately. My own department is really the only place I can and want to work.
Charleygirl I do know the manager of the same department in a local private hospital. That might be an option.
scribbles I like to think I have good listening skills but not sure about counselling. I am a bit of a ‘fixer’ and hate not being able to solve peoples problems! My department is very much about fixing people which is why I have stayed there so long!

I have been browsing the internet today and coupled with being a ‘model’ for someone’s complementary therapy assessment, I am thinking along the lines of researching courses such as reflexology, foot care (don’t really like feet but could work on that!) Indian head massage etc.
The office space could easily convert to a treatment room.
Ummmm…… food for thought……wink

Flaxseed Sat 26-Mar-22 16:06:39

casdon I naively hadn’t even realised other trusts didn’t offer the return to work option until last week!

I know we are not indispensable but just find it a real kick in the teeth to learn of these changes. I think it’s really shortsighted of the trust, especially when it’s hard to retain staff.
I might consider working in a GP’s but only in a support working role. I have no experience in this area.
The only good thing is, if I do something completely different, is that I will only have to revalidate once more!
Silver linings and all that!

LOUISA1523 Sat 26-Mar-22 20:38:48

I am retiring and returning at the end of this month....coming back on 2 days a week...2 other colleagues are co ing back on 3 days a week ....its being well promoted in my community trust ....I'm clinical...but 2 of the admin staff did it a few months ago....I guess we are lucky its still on offer here

Flaxseed Sat 26-Mar-22 21:37:56

I’m hoping our trust sees the error of its ways and reverts to the retire and return by the time I retire. ?

Ali23 Sat 26-Mar-22 22:00:09

Are you able to use some of your lump sum to fund a slight change of direction? A retired nurse in my area has set herself up as a mobile ear syringing service. I’ve also known people our age take up chiropody, although they had to do some training first.
Good luck!

Flaxseed Sun 27-Mar-22 08:56:48

I am looking at training courses this morning! I have found a reflexology one locally that it is approved by the Association of Reflexologists and is split into modules. I could probably start the Anatomy and Physiology module soon if I decided this is something I would like to do.
I’ll continue looking into courses over the next few days.
I might consider aesthetics too ??‍♀️
From feeling really upset and frustrated, I am now feeling quite excited!

Flaxseed Sun 27-Mar-22 08:58:25

I am adding ear syringing to the list too! Thank you

SusieB50 Sun 27-Mar-22 09:54:45

I retired at 64+, I didn’t want to go back to my Trust part time , and I was immediately contacted by 2 GP. practices in the area , and I worked a day in each for 2 years until I had to re validate . I had no desire to do that and retired fully at 67 and luckily was free to care for my mother and then my husband. Both died at home and I was glad that I was able to use all my nursing experience with amazing community nursing support to make this happen. Late last year my local Pharmacist who I knew well asked if I would like to do some sessions giving Covid injections , I declined as by then I had an arthritic hip . I’m sure there are lots of opportunities for retired nurses, Marie Curie and other charities often employ nurses for their telephone advice lines, a friend enjoyed working on 111 although got a bit frustrated with the algorithms they had to use.
Ear syringing would be a good earner as I understand GP practices no longer do it and people are having to pay
£50-60 ! You would need training and insurance though. Good luck !

Farzanah Sun 27-Mar-22 10:56:50

I admire you for staying the course until 60 in the current climate Flaxseed.

Flaxseed Sun 27-Mar-22 11:59:24

Thanks for the ideas. I’m glad I created this thread.
Farzanah Thank you.
I have spent far too many hours moaning about it grin, but it’s all I ever wanted to do, and my department has always worked well around family commitments. Much as I hate so much about the modern NHS, I also feel proud to have been part of some wonderful teams. Our management are awful but the ‘shop floor’ workers are (mostly) fabulous. I love being part of the patients journey, which is why I think retraining in complementary therapies could be the way forward!

Farzanah Sun 27-Mar-22 15:47:14

I also loved my job Flaxseed but latterly there was just so little time for individual interaction with those I was seeing, that I felt was not giving them the quality of service which they deserved.