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New social enterprise nursing staff could get lower pensions

Nursing staff taking up positions in social enterprises may suffer inferior pensions to those who transfer from the NHS

Nursing staff joining a social enterprise scheme may not receive as good a pension as nurses who transfer when it is initially set up, government guidelines have confirmed.

Nurses who transfer to an enterprise scheme providing NHS services will retain their rights to a health service pension, as stated in the NHS Next Stage Review. Those who join it afterwards are not guaranteed as good a deal, according to the Department of Health’s guide to setting up social enterprises.

‘Regarding new employees, the [government’s] Workforce Matters code of practice ensures that they are employed on terms which are fair and reasonable and which overall are no less favourable than those of the transferred staff. However, one important exception to this is pensions,’ it says.

The issue was first raised by proposals for Kingston PCT to become a social enterprise scheme, as Nursing Times reported last month.

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