NHS and unions to focus on pensions reform in 2006

NHS Employers, has confirmed that work on reforming the NHS pension scheme would restart next week.

NHS Employers – the body responsible for pay and beneftis across the health service – and trade unions have been working in partnership since 2003 to review the NHS pension scheme and make sure the scheme is fit for a modern NHS.

They ran a public consultation earlier this year on a range of options which resulted in 5,700 responses from staff.

Work was put on hold during the summer while the Public Service Forum came up with a framework for all public sector pension schemes. Each scheme will now take forward its own negotiations with a view to reaching a final agreement by June 2006.

NHS Employers and health service trade unions will meet next week to discuss how to take forward negotiations on the NHS pension scheme with the aim of building on their previous work to reach an agreement that is good for both staff and employers.

NHS Employers director Steve Barnett said: “A lot has changed since 1948 when the NHS was first set up. One major change is that people are living longer, healthier lives and are working longer.

“NHS Employers is pleased that the new framework has recognised this and has reflected it in the principles for new entrants. We are confident we will be able to create a new NHS pension scheme that will meet the needs of both staff and employers.”

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