The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Council has pledged to continue to oppose the rising pension age for nurses under the government’s pension reform.
In his keynote address to the RCN Congress yesterday (14 May), RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said the linking of the NHS workers’ pension age to the state pension age to be “absurd”.
“A large number of our members received significant protection from the changes [made to the original pension offer], but for many of you these proposals were a kick in the teeth and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said.
“Our opposition remains unwavering to the idea that in the future nurses should have to work until they are 68...what an absurd proposition that is.”
He also spoke of his disappointment at the low turn-out among RCN members voting on the pension changes during February’s ballot.
However, he said the RCN could not have done any more to spread the message and encourage people to vote.
“In the end we couldn’t force people to tell us what they think,” he said.
Dr Carter also urged nurses to write to MPs about pension reform and staffing cuts to ensure their voices are heard.