Speaking at the Nursing in Practice Event in Cardiff today, Richard Jones, RCN deputy director, Wales, encouraged an audience of practice nurses to join the current NHS pension scheme or the planned second scheme.
"We believe it's an excellent scheme, something which we fought long and hard for," said Mr Jones, commenting on the new scheme.
Delivering the keynote address at the Nursing in Practice Event in Cardiff, Mr Jones detailed the benefits of eligible staff joining the current plan.
Such benefits include the normal retirement age staying at 60 years for most members (55 years for special cases) and members being able to draw a final salary pension based on the best last three years of pensionable pay.
This means eligible members do not have to worry about the level of pension they will receive if they choose to step down to a lower band or go parttime as they near retirement age.
The second scheme, which has yet to be formally agreed, will see the normal retirement age rise to 65 years. It will be a final salary scheme and with a range of flexible retirement options.
On the Agenda for Change (AfC) programme, Mr Jones emphasised the importance of the change, saying his involvement in its planning and implementation had "taken over his life."
He said 90% of NHS staff in Wales had been assimilated into AfC, which means the vast majority of NHS workers now had standarised work hours, had their roles evaluated and were now part of a more streamlined pay structure.
And for more information on the Cardiff NiP Event, taking place right now, presentations will be available on this site over the coming weeks. We'll let you know in the Email News Bulletin.
"Agenda for Change has been a hugely expensive farce. On paper, it was perfect- reward for level of skills, knowledge and effort. In practice, it's ideals were corrupted by the need to fit budgets. Not unreasonable, but my own experience saw operational jobs being clustered and "sqeezed" into predetermined bands, while managers' job descriptions were inflated out of recognition (and confirmed by line managers] to protect the old hierarchies and status. The level of anger at the deception of fair job evaluation is being reflected in the number of requests for review. The manipulation of the principles of the process has been shocking" - Name and address supplied