UK -  Scottish cabinet ministers yesterday announced health care workers in Scotland have earned the same pensions deal as colleagues in England and Wales.

Last month the pension fund of the UK's National Health Service (NHS) said it will close its final salary scheme and introduce a different system for new members in April next year.

Following a review of the fund by the Scottish Pension Review Group (SPensR), a partnership between employers, trade unions/professional organisation and the Scottish government, cabinet ministers said yesterday the Scottish Public Pensions Agency will implement changes to the scheme.

Simultaneously, "the new scheme provides greater flexibility around how and when you take your pension , which may better suit some members' retirement plans," said the government said in a statement.

Existing staff and members joining until the end of March next year will keep their normal retirement age of 60, while the new scheme's retirement age is set at 65.

Other changes include the introduction of earnings-related, tiered contributions and cost-sharing arrangements between employers and staff to limit the cost of the scheme.

A spokeswoman told IPE that the new scheme will also be a final salary scheme.