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Document What does an NHS employer need to do when a compulsory (TUPE) transfer of employment takes place?

If you are an NHS employer whose employees are subject to a compulsory transfer of employment, from or into the NHS, you may need to make arrangements to provide continuity of pension rights following the transfer.

The Government has issued non-statutory guidance to cover the pension position of public service employees who are compulsorily transferred to a different employer. This guidance also covers certain former public service workers who were previously transferred to a private sector employer.

The guidance is contained within the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice 'Staff Transfers in the Public Sector' - generally referred to as 'Fair Deal'. Fair Deal outlines how public service employers must handle members' pension rights when you compulsorily transfer them with their work, either to or from a private contractor or another organisation within the public sector. A compulsory transfer could arise from:
  • a machinery of government change
  • a Public Private Partnership arrangement
  • Private Finance Initiative
  • restructuring
  • privatisation
  • outsourcing
  • contracting out, or
  • a retendering exercise.
Staff whose employment is compulsorily transferred from the public sector to independent providers of public services will generally have a right to continued access to relevant public service pension arrangements. They may also have the right to transfer pension benefits between pension schemes on special terms that guarantee equivalent pension benefits in the receiving scheme (known as Bulk Transfer Terms).

The employer is responsible for identifying any related pension issues and may need to work with local and departmental trades union representatives so that any pension issues can be identified and addressed in good time. When planning any transfer, the employer will need to take into account the fact that pension issues are complicated and often take a long time to resolve. Any related pension issues may involve costs for the employer.

The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD ) is the Scheme actuary for the NHS Pension Scheme arrangements and can be commissioned to oversee pension matters on behalf of NHS employers.

As soon as you make a decision that will lead to the compulsory transfer of staff with their work, to or from the NHS, you should initially contact GAD for advice at:
Government Actuary’s Department (GAD)
Finlaison House
15-17 Furnival Street

Staff Transfers section:

Tel: 020 7211 2676 or 020 7211 2752

For further information, please see the website
Any enquiries about NHS Pension arrangements in relation to compulsory transfers of employment should be directed to:
TUPE, tupe
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