NHS Pension Scheme consultations

Writing on paper

 We represent the views of employers by responding to various consultations in relation to the NHS Pension Scheme. The information below is summarised in the following 

 

  • Open consultations – where we are actively seeking your feedback on proposed changes to inform our response
  • Closed consultations – where we have responded to the consultation and are awaiting the outcome
  • Completed consultations – where the outcome has been announced.

Closed consultations

NHS Pension Scheme: proposed changes to scheme regulations 2021.

This consultation closed on Thursday 8 April 2021. 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted on proposed changes to the scheme regulations, including the final pay controls in the 1995 Scheme.

Under the current regulations, employers are charged if they give a scheme member an increase in pensionable pay which is above an allowable amount in the final three years of their employment. The aim of the final pay controls is to protect the NHS Pension Scheme against the costs of excessive increases in pensionable pay.

DHSC is proposing to:

  • Increase the allowable amount from the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus 4.5 per cent to CPI plus seven per cent.
  • Exclude increases in pensionable pay that arise from:
    - nationally agreed contracts
    - national Clinical Excellence Awards
    - promotions
    - salary sacrifice arrangements
    - profit share percentage for non-GP providers.

Read our response to the proposed changes to scheme regulations 2021 here.

Full details of the consultation can be found on the GOV.UK website.

 

Completed consultations 

Public service pensions: Guaranteed minimum pension indexation consultation

This consultation was published on 7 October 2020 and closed on 30 December 2020.

HM Treasury (HMT) consulted on proposals on how the government can continue to meet past commitments regarding the full indexation of public service pensions, including any GMP element. The consultation considered the policy options that are available to the government.

HMT has confirmed its decision to make full GMP indexation the permanent solution for public service pension schemes, and to discount conversion as a long-term policy solution. This approach will mean that public service pension schemes will provide full indexation to members with a GMP reaching State Pension age beyond 5 April 2021. 

The full details of the consultation can be found on the HMT website.

NHS Pension Scheme: increased flexibility

This consultation was published in September 2019 and closed on 1 November 2019.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted on a new set of proposals to offer senior clinicians more control over their pensions growth, so they can continue to provide the services that patients need.

DHSC has confirmed it will not implement the proposals, as the Chancellor’s decision to raise the income threshold for annual allowance tapering from £110,000 to £200,000 from 6 April 2020, achieves the same intended aim. 

You can read full details of all the proposed changes on the gov.uk website.

Read our response to the NHS Pension Scheme consultation on increased flexibility.

Read the Scheme Advisory Board to the NHS Pension Scheme response to the consultation

Public service pension schemes: changes to the transitional arrangements to the 2015 schemes

This consultation was published on 16 July 2020 and closed on 11 October 2020.

HMT consulted on proposals to remove the age discrimination judged to have arisen from the transitional arrangements to the 2015 pension schemes across the public sector, including the NHS Pension Scheme.

Following the feedback received during the consultation process, HMT has now announced that:

  • Eligible members will be given the choice about whether they would like to receive their benefits from the 1995/2008 scheme or 2015 scheme for the remedy period, between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.
  • Members will make this choice when they take their benefits on retirement.
  • All members will join the 2015 scheme from 1 April 2022.
  • Those who have already taken benefits from the scheme will be contacted by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and offered a choice as soon as possible. Their choice will be applied retrospectively from the date on which the benefits were originally paid.

The full details of the consultation can be found on the HMT website.

Read the NHS Employers response to this consultation.

Read the NHS Pension Scheme Advisory Board response to this consultation.

NHS Pension Scheme: proposed changes to scheme regulations 2019 – government response published March 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted on various changes to the NHS Pension Scheme regulations. The proposals included; changing the employer contribution rate to 20.6 per cent from 1 April 2019, renew member contribution rates from 1 April 2019, provide civil partners and same sex spouses with the same exemption rights as widows, and exempt nationally agreed pay increases for agenda for change staff from the final pay controls.

The government decided to go ahead with the proposed changes to the regulations. You can read the full consultation and government response on the GOV.UK website.  

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