Health Service executive will discuss government offer

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UNISON members working in health are to be asked whether or not the union should accept the government’s pensions offer.

The union has today confirmed it has received a final offer from the government on NHS pensions, and agreed to take it back to its Health Service Executive.

Under the proposals, those less than ten years away from retirement would not face any change to their pension, and those earning less than £26,000 would be protected from an increase in contributions next year.

Also included is a pledge to consult over the impact of these changes on staff in the emergency services – including paramedics – as well as a commitment to Fair Deal. This allows those transferred out of the public sector to retain their right to stay in the pension scheme. The proposals are for a career average pension scheme, with an improved accrual rate.

The union will now take the details of the proposed scheme back to its membership-led health committee, who are due to meet on 10 January. The committee will then decide on whether to accept, reject, or formally consult NHS members on the proposals.

Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said:  “This is the government’s final offer. On some issues – such as contribution rates for the low paid next year, and for people close to retirement – we have made progress.

“On others, we always knew this would be a damage limitation exercise – aimed at reducing the worst impacts of the government’s pension changes.

“We’ve always believed public sector workers deserve decent pensions, and our members have shown they are willing to take action to defend these.”


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