NHS Pension Scheme

The NHS Pension Scheme is a large pension scheme for people who work for the English NHS and NHS Wales. It is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority, a special health authority of the Department of Health of the United Kingdom.

The main benefits and conditions of the scheme are explained in the NHS Pensions document Scheme Guide - NHS Pension Scheme . The benefits and conditions vary according to the type of worker and the dates of their service; from 2008 the "Normal Retirement Age" changed from 60 years to 65 years while the proportion of pay upon which a pension is based was increased. The benefits are index-linked and guaranteed. They are based on final salary (members who joined before 1 April 2008) or average salary (members who joined after 1 April 2008) and years of membership of the scheme. There are no administration costs. Members can increase their contributions if they wish to get larger benefits (within certain limits).

The NHS pension scheme is currently in surplus and has been in net surplus for the past 17 years in the order of £11 billion. The office of budget reporting revised sharply their predictions for pension receipts last year to predict a deficit by 2013-14, instead of 2016 as predicted the year before. The downturn was ascribed to frozen public sector salaries and hence pension receipts as well as higher than normal employees taking early retirement.

The NHS pension is a pay as you go scheme. It is likely that its biggest vulnerability is privatisation .

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