Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New talks to begin on NHS pension contributions

  • Comment

Health service unions are to enter into discussions with Department of Health officials on increasing public sector pension contributions, ministers have announced today.

Formal consultations on raising public sector pension contributions in 2012-13 will begin at the end of July, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said today.

The government and the Trades Union Congress have agreed that, in addition to ongoing high level negotiations, separate talks will be held on each of the schemes in the public sector, including the NHS, local government, police, teachers and civil service.

A TUC spokeswoman said the NHS talks would be led by Unison, although non-TUC affiliated bodies including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing will also be involved.

A statement published by the Treasury today said the discussions were necessary “to ensure a fuller understanding of the implications of reforms”.

The talks are expected to finish by the end of October, and the resulting changes to contributions are planned to be implemented from April 2012. Ministers want to cut £1.2bn from the cost of public service pensions in 2012-13, followed by a further £2.3bn in 2013-14, and £2.8bn in 2014-15.

The government has recognised that the local government pension scheme is funded - it has £140bn worth of assets and investments, making it similar to a private pension scheme - and therefore is in a “different position” to the other public service schemes, and alternative ways to deliver savings will be discussed. However no such exception has been made for NHS pensions.

Mr Alexander said: “The government and the TUC have held a series of constructive meetings to discuss public service pension reform and have now agreed that to further inform the discussions on Lord Hutton’s recommendations, there should be scheme-level discussions alongside the central process.

“I can also confirm today that to deliver the first year’s savings of £1.2bn… consultations for the unfunded public service pension schemes will commence by the end of this month.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.