Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

Improving Retirement Support

What interventions or actions did you put in place to support nurses or midwives?

We developed a Pensions Intranet page for our staff to provide useful information on the NHS Pension scheme, flexible retirement options, annual/lifetime allowance. We also introduced free of charge pension webinars to help colleagues understand their options and plan effectively for retirement, including flexible retirement. To strengthen our commitment to supporting colleagues to work for longer, we implemented a new Retirement Policy and improved some of our flexible retirement options (such as retire and return) and have been promoting these through our Retention Roadshows and other communication channels.


Why did you decide this was important?

Analysis of our organisational data showed that we have an ageing workforce and retirement was a key reason for leaving. We felt it was important to improve access to information on pensions, as well as provide improved flexible retirement options as key to retaining our colleagues in late career and supporting them to work for longer. 


Frances Jackson   Picture
How did you go about it?

Our People and OD team worked with our Pensions Officer to develop and implement the resources needed. We undertook benchmarking to understand what other organisations offered and how we might be able to improve. We worked closely with our staff side colleagues to ensure the new policy was supportive and inclusive. We regularly communicate the support available to colleagues, as well as advertising this via our Reward and Recognition guide.


How do you know it has been sucessful in supporting colleague's to continue their NHS Career and not leave the NHS?

Our organisational data shows a reduction in the number of leavers over the age of 55 in the last year (96 fewer leavers in this age band). The number of leavers due to retirements has also decreased by 6.5% over the last year.


What 3 suggestions would you make to colleagues considering implementing similar change?

1. Consider how the information will be communicated to reach the right audience.

2. Educate both colleagues and managers on the benefits of flexible retirement, as well as the key considerations so staff make informed choices. 

3. Work closely with pensions experts and staff side colleagues.