NHS Trust referred to regulator over cash-for-pensions deal

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An NHS Trust has been referred to The Pensions Regulator over a deal to offer nurses better wages in exchange for opting out of a pension scheme.

According to the FT, the NHS Pension Board has formally raised the issue with the regulator over concerns relating to south-east London’s Oxleas NHS Trust.

Under automatic enrolment rules employers are not allowed to offer staff higher pay as an incentive to opt-out of a scheme.

And now, despite originally approving the arrangement, the regulator will reportedly investigate the deal.

A TPR spokeswoman declined to comment, beyond stating that: “Our regulatory decisions are taken on the basis of the information available at a particular point in time. If new information comes to light, we will look again at the decision wherever it’s appropriate to do so.”

The NHS Pensions Board began looking into the Oxleas Trust’s pension offer last month after the FT reported concerns the deal was an inducement for staff to drop out of the scheme.