New NHS pension arrangements announced

NHS staff joining after 1 April 2008 will have to work five years longer before retiring – but will still receive a final-salary pension – after negotiations concluded today.

New pension arrangements were announced by trust representative NHS Employers and trade unions including the British Medical Association (BMA).

The agreement means all staff will receive a final-salary pension. Current staff will still be able to retire at 60 on a full pension, but workers joining after 1 April next year will have to wait until they are 65.

Existing scheme members will receive a pension equal to 1/80th of their final salary – based on the best of the last three years of work before the age of 60 – for each year of service, in addition to a 3/80th lump sum.

Members joining after 1 April will receive a pension worth 1/60th of their final salary, based on the average of the best three consecutive years of membership in the 10 years before retirement, for each year of service.

All staff will be able to take a reduced pension up to 10 years before their full pension is due.

Reaction to the new arrangements

  • “The health unions have negotiated to keep the most important features of the NHS pension scheme.
    “Our priorities were based on a consultation with BMA members last year. They told us that being able to retire at 60, and retaining the final salary scheme, were the most important elements of the NHS pension scheme. Under this deal, they keep both, and get extra benefits.”
    Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA’s Pensions Committee

  • “We have agreed a new pension scheme for new members – and existing staff who choose to join – that is far more flexible, allowing staff more options in balancing work and retirement.
    “We have also been able to provide some additional benefits for existing staff. This agreement is good for staff, their employers, and the taxpayer.”
    David Jordison, chair of the NHS Employers pensions negotiating team

  • “NHS Employers and NHS trade unions have done an excellent job of listening to both staff and employers. The new NHS Pensions Scheme strikes the right balance between the security that staff deserve in their retirement, and affordability for the taxpayer.”
    Health minister Ben Bradshaw

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