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Staff need ‘support’ for pension changes

3 March 2014

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More work needs to be done to help healthcare professionals working in the NHS to understand pensions available to them, a major review has suggested. 

In the NHS Working Longer Review, the NHS Staff Council called for more support to help staff understand fully their pension arrangements, including face-to-face advice, so that they are fully aware of the options available.

A total of 11 recommendations were given to the UK Health Departments based around the four main themes of pension options, data challenges, the importance of appropriate working arrangements and good practice in occupational health, safety and wellbeing. 

Gill Bellord, director of employment relations and reward at NHS Employers, said: “It’s crucial that we get to a point where even staff nearing retirement always know that flexible, positive choices are available to them.

“I hope staff will be encouraged that the NHS is addressing this issue seriously, long before later retirement becomes a reality. The Working Longer Review can be central to ensuring the NHS is an attractive, safe place for people to work at any age and I hope we can build on this important work.”

The review called for further consideration to be given to the current and emerging evidence regarding the impact of working patterns and environments on an ageing workforce.

NHS Staff Council also called for a national dataset on staff, with the aims of making it easier to collect information with which to inform policy. 

The recommendations aim to ensure that the NHS is on the front foot in addressing the emerging issue of its ageing workforce, whose average age is 43.7 years. Around 910,000 (70%) of the existing workforce will also see an increase in their retirement age, up to 68 years old.