Unite rejects NHS pensions deal

Trade union Unite has unanimously rejected the Government’s latest proposals for reform of the NHS pension scheme.

The key features of the agreement for NHS workers included moving to a career average scheme, bringing retirement ages into line with the state pension age, introducing an accrual rate of 1/54th of earnings, and revaluing pre-retirement benefits by CPI plus 1.5 per cent for active members and CPI for deferred members.

NHS staff must also pay higher contributions into their pension.

Unite says its primary concerns are the proposed increase in pension contributions, the linking of the retirement age to the state pension age and the accrual rates offered to NHS staff.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ”Our NHS executive unanimously rejects the Government’s pernicious attempts to make hard working and dedicated NHS staff pay more, work longer and get less when they retire.

“The Government’s attacks on public sector pensions are politically motivated, as part of an overall design to privatise the NHS, cut public services, break-up the national pay agreements, and disrupt legitimate trade union activities and organisation.

“Unite believes it is important to continue a campaign to maintain a fair and equitable system of public sector pensions and calls on ministers to enter into real, genuine and meaningful negotiations on the future of NHS pensions and public sector pensions.”