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NHS News update August 2011

Consultation on proposed increases to employee contribution rates
You may have seen the recent newspaper articles related to the Government’ commitment to review the long-term affordability and sustainability of public service pensions. Further information, as publicised by the Department of Health is available on the NHS Pensions website here.

This document sets out the consultation for proposed changes to employee contributions to the NHS Pension Scheme. The consultation exercise will run until 21st October 2011.

The existing employee contribution rates for the year 2011/12 are set out in this document.

Pensions Choice Exercise (PCE)
As you are aware this exercise has commenced and is due to end in March 2012. The statements continue to be received in batches and issued to members accordingly. If you have not yet received yours, please do not be concerned as all members of the 1995 section will be given an opportunity to make their choice during the exercise period.

However, if you are due to retire in the period prior to March 2012 and have yet to make your choice, you will still be able to make your choice as part of your retirement process.

Further information about the PCE is available here.

Tax Relief limits - changes effective April 2011
You will be aware that in the Finance Act 2011, the Government confirmed that the standard lifetime allowance (LTA) would be reduced from its current value of £1.8m to £1.5m from the 6th April 2012. The reduced LTA will therefore apply to members who become entitled to receive their benefits when they:

Planning to retire before 6th April 2012?
It is important that you inform UCL Pension Services so that the application process can be started as soon as possible and to allow sufficient time before that date for the benefits to be authorised. It is preferable if the completed application form is provided to NHS Pensions at least 3 months before the intended retirement date. This is so that the benefits can be authorised before 6th April 2012 and have the benefits tested against the LTA of £1.8m.

Fenella Needham
UCL Pensions Manager