New benefit for all health service staff

Payment in event of death in service.

All families of frontline NHS staff who die as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will receive financial support, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has confirmed.

A total lump sum of twice the staff member’s annual earnings and continued survivor entitlements will be provided in the event of a death in service. This benefit will be available immediately and backdated if necessary. 

The majority of NHS workers are already eligible for this through their NHS Pension Scheme membership, but the Health Secretary wants to ensure that all NHS staff who provide frontline services will be covered for the duration of this crisis. 

Ms Freeman said:

“Scotland was the first of the four UK nations to announce a COVID-19-related death in service provision for NHS Staff.

“I know not all staff are members of the NHS Pension scheme and therefore I want to ensure those staff, as well as temporary, NHS Bank, NHS Locum and GP Locum staff are fully covered for the duration of this current crisis.

"This scheme has been tailored to Scottish NHS staff and recognises the enormous work that's been put in on the frontline.

“It will provide benefits in circumstances where staff are not covered by membership of an existing NHS pension scheme, and in circumstances where staff would not be entitled to the maximum pension benefit available. This will ensure all staff have peace of mind as they continue to deliver the expert care for which we are all grateful.”


The principal scheme rules will be published on Friday 1 May 2020.

The NHS Pension scheme, of which the majority of staff are members, gives nominated beneficiaries a death in service benefit consisting of a lump sum payment and ongoing survivor benefits.

The Scottish Government is in discussion with Social Care and Community Pharmacy colleagues to consider what appropriate provision might be made available for those staff groups.


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