UK - NHS Hull, the area's primary care trust (PCT), is seeking a provider to develop a company pension fund for the City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) that will offer "comparable" benefits to the NHS pension scheme.

CHCP provides the physical primary and community health services across Hull, but although the arm is currently accountable to NHS Hull, and the staff is eligible for the NHS pension, from 1 October 2009 it will become an independent and 'not-for-profit' Community Interest Company (CIC).

As a result of the change in status, around 1,300 healthcare professionals and support staff will transfer to the CIC under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) and they will retain their NHS pension.

However, NHS Hull said all new employees will have to be offered a "comparative pension scheme" so it is tendering a contract to established pension providers to "advise, develop and assist in implementing a 'comparable company pension scheme for City Health Care Partnership'".

Since April 2008 members of the closed NHS defined benefit (DB) scheme have received an accrual rate of 1/80th while the Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) plan for practitioners has been accruing at 1.4%.

At the same time, the introduction of the new NHS scheme gave new members a slightly better accrual rate of 1/60th for final salary and 1.87% for CARE but it has higher normal and early retirement ages - 65 and 55 respectively - although members have the option of transferring to the new scheme in the 'Choice Exercise" scheduled fro the summer.

NHS Hull is also seeking expressions of interest from pension providers that can offer an injury benefits Scheme for both new employees and existing staff, although the tender notice highlighted applicants for the roles will have to demonstrate:

Experience of introducing new innovative company pension schemes; Experience of working with trade unions in the adoption and implementation of pension schemes, and The broad based pension schemes they would be recommending, with indicative contribution rates and administrative costs.

The closing date for submissions is 29 May 2009 and further information can be obtained from NHS Hull.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email