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In perspective - Working longer – have your say!

Pension changes could mean working to 68. How will the NHS cope? Penny Bromley wants to know.

The NHS workforce is, on average, getting older and is expected to work until an older age than ever before.

This combination, and the change to the age at which the NHS and state pensions can be accessed, has profound implications for all NHS employees and the services they deliver.  

The NHS is leading the way on exploring on how working practice may need to change to accommodate its employees working until they are older.

The CSP recognises that all members are affected by the change to the state pension age. And many of you may have an NHS pension if you have worked in the NHS in the past.

The society is seeking information from members currently working in the NHS about what retiring later is going to mean for you.

In particular you voiced concerns in the past about the physical nature of the job and how, as you reach retirement, some of you are less able to perform your manipulation skills as effectively as you might when you were younger.

Employers will need to be actively involved in supporting staff work until they are older, rather than leaving it as an individual’s decision to work into his or her 60s.

Offering a changed role or different working hours will be key for some members.

Employees also need to be much more aware of the options they will have to extend their working life, manage their pension income and plan for an older retirement.

They may need to talk with their employers about the options open to them and what it means for them and their career.

If you are in your early 40s or younger, your NHS pension is only payable in full when you are 68.

If you are older than 43 and not fully covered by the protection arrangements agreed as part of the NHS pension deal, the age you receive your NHS pension in full will be raised.

The workforce will comprise staff from their early 20s right up to those still working in their middle to late 60s.  

Following union pressure, a tripartite group of NHS Employers, health departments and union representatives is working on how occupational health services and working practices in England, Scotland and Wales will need to adapt to meet this challenge.

An audit of existing research has been published by the group but there is a huge gap between what research shows is needed and what actually happens in the workplace.

The CSP needs staff of all ages working in the NHS to contribute to the review by letting us know the issues you face now in being able to work more flexibly, confident that your needs will be managed positively as you get older.   

Go to the CSP website and make sure you have your say. The questionnaire is very short and will take about five minutes. Impact of working beyond 60 Penny Bromley is CSP research and policy officer

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