Update on NHS Pension Scheme England and Wales
Published: 24 July 2012
Following the conclusion of trade union consultations with their members the NHS pension scheme was discussed at the NHS Staff Council on 28 June.
The last union to declare their position did so on 18 July. While most unions have rejected the proposals some union ballots had a majority to accept. Where member ballots have resulted in a rejection, low turnout levels mean that there is effectively no mandate to ballot members on industrial action. The RCN undertook a ballot of over 400,000 members. This resulted in a turnout of 16% with 62% indicating rejection (41,000 votes) and 38% acceptance (24,000 votes).
The position adopted by all the trade unions at the Staff Council was to move forward and to discuss all the outstanding issues that remain through the NHS Pension Scheme Governance Group. This means that discussions will now commence on the new section of the pension scheme. Up to June 28 trade unions had not engaged in any discussions about future arrangements. There is now a series of meetings scheduled throughout the summer and autumn to progress this work.
The RCN position remains that we have rejected the proposals. We will continue to challenge the imposition of linking the normal pension age to the state pension age. As well as this, work will commence shortly on the ‘Working Longer Review’ a key part of the proposals that members were consulted on. Work on widening access to the NHS pension scheme when services are transferred from the NHS to new providers has already commenced within the Staff Passport Group and is expected to report over the summer.
We will keep you updated as matters progress.