NHS: It Would Take 147 Years and Cost £32 Million to Reveal Pension Data

NHS

Bumper NHS pensions have long been the subject of taxpayer ire, but how many health service employees are actually coining it? Co-conspirators at the Taxpayers’ Alliance fired off a Freedom of Information request to the NHS Business Services Authority asking for the number of members of the NHS pension scheme who had accrued pension benefits with a cash equivalent transfer value of £1 million or more. They were met with an extraordinary response:

“To provide the information would require a cash equivalent transfer value calculation for each of the member records – approx 2 million records (as at March 2015 this was 1,985,056 records). 70% of these values can be calculated via a system calculation estimated at taking approximately 30 minutes a case. 30% of values would need further specialist manual calculation, estimating that each of these would take approximately 1 hour to undertake. Therefore, I estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the non- central Government limit of £450.”

This works out as follows…

70% of 1,985,056 = 1,389,539

1,389,539 x 30 mins = 694,770 hours

30% of 1,985,056 = 595,517

595,517 x 1hr = 595,517 hours

Total = 1,290,286 hours, 53,762 days or 147 years

In line with the £25 an hour rate they use for these calculations, the NHS is saying it would take 147 years and cost £32,257,160 to answer the FoI and reveal how many employees have million pound pensions. That has to be one of the most incredible FoI responses in history…


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