UK - Updated National Health Service (NHS) defined benefit pension arrangements have been welcomed by employers and trade unions following four years of talks.
A range of benefits for NHS employees joining the scheme from April 2008 have been altered from the original package, but existing members would continue to receive largely the same from employers.
Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), one of the unions involved in discussions, said the organisation was pleased with the outcome.
Carter added: “The RCN and other trade unions representing healthcare workers set out to reach a sustainable long term agreement with NHS employers that would provide security in retirement for nurses, hope for future NHS nurses and value for money. This agreement does all three.”
Ben Bradshaw, health minister, added: “The new NHS pension scheme strikes the right balance between the security that staff deserve in their retirement and affordability for the tax payer.”
Under the new terms, existing members and those who join the scheme before April 2008 would keep a retirement age of 60, whereas new entrants would have to wait until 65.
Contributions would now be earnings related, meaning higher paid staff would pay a comparable amount for any benefits drawn.
Other reforms include lump sum pay off options and step down arrangements, letting staff with final salary arrangements transfer to less demanding duties without loss of retirement income.
Some existing members would also retain the right to retire at 55.
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