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Healthcare: NHS pension scheme

The National Health Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS) provides pension benefits for staff working in the NHS. The NHSPS, like other public sector pension schemes, has been the subject of major reviews and changes. Most recently, significant changes have been proposed to the benefit structure for the NHSPS in response to the recommendations made in the Hutton Report. The key challenge for NHS employers is to ensure that they are on top of these changes, which could have a major impact on their staff.

In addition, under HM Treasury’s revised Fair Deal guidance, private sector employers who enter into outsourcing and other partnership arrangements which involve transfers of NHS staff are now able to participate in the NHSPS, by obtaining a NHS pension direction.

In some cases, employers may be permitted instead to provide pension benefits which are broadly comparable to those provided by the NHSPS. A scheme is only broadly comparable to the NHSPS where it has a certificate of broad comparability from the Government Actuary's Department (GAD). It is important that such employers ensure that they have an appropriate up to date GAD certificate.

How we can help

Eversheds Sutherland s' public sector pensions team has extensive experience in advising on issues relating to the NHSPS. In particular, the team:

  • advises on the provisions of the NHSPS and their application to members and employers
  • advises both the NHS and private sector employers in relation to transactions involving the transfer of staff from the NHS, working on some of the biggest and most complex PFIs, PPPs and outsourcings in Europe
  • advises employers in relation to their powers and choices when making staff redundant, or when dismissing high-profile individuals.