NHS unions consider the government’s latest pensions deal

Several unions representing National Health Service (NHS) employees have said they would consider the final offer made by the government on public sector pension reforms.

Unions, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), have outlined the latest deal to members and will discuss it with their governing bodies on 10 January 2012. The NHS offer would see employees who reach their normal retirement age in the ten years from April 2012 remain in their present arrangements. Anyone earning less than £26,557 will see no rise in pension contributions next year.

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “The government and the NHS Staff Council Trade Unions have now discussed a final set of proposals in respect of the NHS pension scheme, which recognises that the proposals are the best that can be achieved through negotiation. The government has confirmed that this is its final position.

“Each of the unions representing NHS staff will now take this proposal to their governing bodies for approval or otherwise. The RCN’s governing council will meet on 10 January to discuss this proposal and will want to engage as many members as possible in the decision over how best to respond to this offer.”

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However, unions representing civil servants are no closer to reaching an agreement. The Public and Commercial Services union has rejected the latest offer which would see pension contributions increasing from April 2012, the pension age rising to 68 and pensions indexed by the consumer prices index instead of the retail prices index.

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