NHS Pensions blames delay in payments to new pensioners on computer software

Senior nurse said she hadn’t received her pension lump sum almost six weeks after it was due

Senior nurse said she hadn’t received her pension lump sum almost six weeks after it was due

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Recently retired NHS nurses are being forced to wait for pensions pay-outs because of a computer glitch.

A number of nurses have discovered it will take up to 60 days for their initial lump sums to be processed – not the 30 days advertised.

NHS Pensions, the organisation responsible for authorising payments, has blamed new payroll software and has apologised for the delays and said: ‘We aim to make payments within 30 days of the payable date or the date that NHS Pensions receives all required information. The current processing time is currently closer to 60 days.’ 

It said those affected will be paid the interest they missed in a separate transaction.

Pension was due in mid-July

Helen Judkins recently retired from her position as assistant director of nursing at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She tweeted on 22 August that her application had been submitted to NHS Pensions in March and although her first payment had been due on 13 July, she was still awaiting her first payment almost six weeks later. 

In her message to NHS Pensions she added: ‘Still no pension payment, no clear information and no help. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. You have not communicated anything to me and you have let NHS staff down.’

Retired Queen’s Nurse Janine McKnight finally received her payment last week, having waited a similar length of time to Ms Judkins.

‘My life is falling apart’

She had tweeted she had spent ‘40 years in the NHS saving lives and now mine is falling apart without my pension and lump sum’.

RCN employment relations adviser Nicola Lee wrote in an RCN blog last week: ‘We have been told the software issues are due to be fixed this week but unfortunately delays to payments are likely to persist.’

Ms Lee advised anyone experiencing financial hardship, such as rent or mortgage arrears, to speak to the NHS Pensions customer contact centre about getting the payments speeded up.

Delays exceeds statutory target

She added as the delay exceeds its statutory target, NHS Pensions has informed the Pensions Regulator.

An NHS Pensions statement said: ‘We apologise for the delay some of our customers are experiencing.

‘This is affecting new award claims only and has been caused by transition to a new system in the past month. We are working through the cases in strict date order and any interest will become payable should some pension benefits be paid late.’

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