Pensions talks between unions and the government have ended with the announcement of a detailed final offer from ministers.
The proposals will see the final salary scheme scrapped in favour of one based on an employee’s “career average” earnings, the retirement age raised in line with the state pension age and increased contributions.
However, the negotiations have also ensured that many older workers will be shielded from the full financial impact of the changes.
In addition, all staff formally transferred from the NHS into the private sector will retain their NHS pension. Previously, they were only eligible for a “broadly comparable” pension paid for by their new employer.
Alongside the pensions deal, a review has been announced into whether staff working for private firms carrying out NHS work should receive the NHS pension, even where they have not been transferred through TUPE regulations.
Royal College of Nursing general secretary and chief executive Peter Carter said: “ We will now consider in detail the substance of these proposals and what they mean for members. However, the fundamental issues of concern remain the same.
“The RCN is also continuing to meet with other unions who are carrying out their own member consultations to discuss next steps.”
Unison will ballot members on the changes following an executive meeting on 21 March.
Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: ““The final proposals on the new NHS pension scheme released today have changed significantly from where the negotiations first started.
“It is critical that our members have the final say on these proposals and we will meet with our key health activists before moving to a ballot.
“The new proposals maintain a defined benefit scheme with a move towards career average. In this harsh economic climate it was crucial to ensure that no health worker earning less than £26,000 a year should be hit with an increase in their pension payments this year.
“In addition, scheme members within 10 years of retirement will receive protection. We know that pensions can be very complex and we will be doing all we can to ensure that the members get the advice they need to make an informed decision in the ballot.”