Government confirms extension of Fair Deal for public service pensions
Thu 05 Jul 2012
Staff transferred to independent sector to be able to retain membership of the NHS pension scheme
In a Written Ministerial Statement on Wednesday, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that legislation will be introduced to take forward the changes to public service pensions announced earlier this year. This will bring in the new scheme effective from April 2015. The statement also confirmed the outcome of the review of the Fair Deal policy, where the Government has agreed to extend access to public service pension schemes so that all staff subject to compulsory transfer from the public service under TUPE, including subsequent TUPE transfers, to independent providers of public services can retain membership of their current employer’s pension scheme.
The Secretary of State for Health wrote to the NHS unions last week to confirm the intention to introduce the new NHS pension arrangements from April 2015 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. MiP and the other health unions are continuing discussions on several issues of concern:
- proposed contribution increases for 2013-14 and 2014-15 - the unions have agreed to discuss these proposals, but have emphasised the need for detailed information about the rate of opting out from the scheme following this year’s increase in contributions. The Government target is to keep opt-outs at 1%.
- Working longer review to consider the impact of higher retirement age - the social partners are designing the review and the research contribution
- Widening access review – the social partners aim to sign off recommendations to extend access to the NHS Pension scheme to staff who are employed by non NHS organisations who provide NHS-funded clinical services
- The Equality Impact Assessment on the new pension scheme - this should be published in September and the trade unions are seeking robust analysis of all the protected characteristics.
Separate negotiations on the NHS Pension scheme in Scotland are still taking place between the Scottish Government, employers and unions.
The full written statement is available on the Treasury website