Pensions - Articles - Figures show huge levels of opt outs from NHS pension scheme

Steven Cameron, Aegon’s Pensions Director comments on Government figures showing huge levels of opt outs from NHS pension scheme

 “Government figures showing over 211,000 people have ‘opted out’ of the NHS pension scheme over the last 5 years are truly shocking. Public sector pensions such as the NHS scheme are much more generous than most of those available in the private sector. While they typically require a substantial employee contribution, the corresponding employer contribution makes this a hugely valuable form of saving for the future.

 “The figures don’t separate out how many of those who have left are higher earners, concerned that remaining in the scheme will lead to a big tax bill because they have exceeded pensions tax limits. But as this is a more recent issue, the real concern is that many of those who have opted out are lower earners, who may feel they can’t afford the personal contributions. While opting out will save money short term, the longer term losses to financial health are far, far greater.

 “These figures show that much more needs to be done to highlight just how valuable a workplace pension can be, both in the private sector but even more so in the public sector.”

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