Future of NHS Pensions

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2006 Health Care Service Group Conference
19 April 2006

Conference welcomes the agreement reached at the Public Services Forum between the TUC and Central Government which safeguards the principles and protection of the pensions rights of existing members of the NHS Pensions Scheme.

Conference recognises the key role that UNISON played to reach that agreement in which the government honoured its pensions contract with the nation’s health workers.

The agreement will ensure that members of the existing scheme will receive lifetime protection on their present pension arrangement including the right to retire at 60 years of age. Conference also notes that the agreement was subsequently endorsed by the Health Service Group Executive, the national nursing sector and a number of other national sector committees.

Conference welcomes the ongoing discussion and efforts that have taken place to ensure amongst other targets:

1.Safeguard the position of new starters in the pension scheme with the right to retire at 60 years.

2.Protect the right of students to join and enjoy the scheme with no detriment.

3.Rights and protection of returners.

4.Equality proofing for any new scheme.

Whilst welcoming the offer of lifetime protection for existing NHS pension scheme members, this Conference resolves to instruct the SGE to ensure in the sector negotiations, that all new NHS starters are able to access their pensions at the same age as existing scheme members without detriment.