UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

NHS Pension Scheme: final proposals published

Details of the Government’s final offer to NHS unions has been published with confirmation that 70% of UNISON members will not pay increased contributions in 2012/13 (thus avoiding the 1.5% increase due to be implemented next April under previously agreed ’cap and share’ arrangements’).
Key points of the offer are set out below: http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=7505

· Accrued rights are protected.

· Full protection for those within 10 years of the normal retirement age of their current existing pension scheme, including those with special class status. They will continue to be able to retire at 55, 60 or 65 depending on what scheme they are in. An additional 3.5 years tapered protection.

· The new proposed scheme would come into effect in 2015 and would be a career average scheme with an accrual rate of 1/54 uprated by CPI plus 1.5%, this represents a significant improvement from the outset of the negotiations.

· The government is still proposing contribution increases. In 2012 members will pay between 0 and 2.4% extra. Those with a pensionable salary of less than £26,557 will not pay any extra. This will apply to 48% of the NHS workforce and probably around 70% of UNISON members. There will be further discussions on contributions in years 2 and 3.

· Normal Pension Age (NPA) will remain equal to State Pension Age (SPA). We could not shift the Government on this issue. Unions have proposed a number of alternatives but as yet this remains in the Heads of Agreement.

· Fair Deal will apply in health and anyone being TUPE transferred will be able to keep their NHS pension. They are proposing to review extending access to the NHS scheme for staff working in Any Qualified Provider organisations (AQPs).

· A tripartite review of the impact of the proposed increase in pension ages on certain categories of staff including those in emergency services.