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Trade union body opens ballot on NHS pensions

17 April 2012

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A trade union for healthcare managers has begun balloting its members on the government’s final NHS pension scheme proposal for England and Wales.

The Managers in Partnership (MiP) ballot is to close on the 8 May.

MiP Chief Executive Jon Restell said the government’s final proposals have maintained a “defined benefit pension scheme” and acknowledged the higher accrual rate will mean some MiP members will be “better off”.

“MiP will suspend industrial action while our members consider the Government’s final offer for their pensions from 2015,” said Restell.

“The final proposals maintain a defined benefit pension scheme. Scheme members within 10 years of their current retirement age are protected. The higher accrual rate means some members will be better off in the new scheme. The Fair Deal provision for outsourced staff, which may come to cover more and more managers, is better than it is now, as they will be able to stay in the NHS Pension Scheme.

“Set against this, our members know the Government is imposing unjust hikes in pension contributions and a cut in the prices index for pension increases.
“It has insisted on linking the NHS retirement age to the State Retirement Age. We still believe this will be bad for staff and for patients.”

Highlights of the government’s pension proposal include:

–    All accrued rights will be protected with past benefits linked to final salary once members leave the scheme.
–     All active NHS Pension Scheme members, who as of 1 April 2012 have 10 years or less to their current pension age will see no change in when they can retire, nor any decrease in the among of pension they receive at their current normal pension age.

–    Members who are within a further 3.5 years of their normal pension age will have limited protection.

–    The new pension scheme will be based on a career average salary.

–    A provisional accrual rate of 1/54th of pensionable earnings each year.

–    Normal pension age to be equal to the state pension age.