Overseas NHS Workers and Pension Mis-Selling

A photo group of overseas NHS workers

On Friday 3rd of March 2023, the whole country have come together to celebrate Overseas NHS workers’ day. This initiative was started by The Doctors’ Association UK in 2021 to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions made by workers who migrate from overseas to work for the NHS.

 Overseas NHS workers play an important role in providing healthcare services to millions of people across the country. Many of these workers have spent most of their lives dedicated to their jobs, with the expectation that one day they will finally enjoy a comfortable retirement.

 Unfortunately, many of these workers might have fallen victim to a mis-sold pension, a practice in which workers that are entitled to a final salary or defined benefit pension, which provides guaranteed benefits, without exposing the member to any form of investment risk, are given inappropriate advice about transferring their pensions to more risky arrangements, and/or inferior pensions. As a result, they lose thousands of pounds in retirement savings, leaving them uncertain about their financial future.

 In this article, we’ll explore the role of overseas healthcare workers within our healthcare system, the challenges they face whilst working in the UK, and the devastating impact mis-sold pension transfers can have on their lives.

 If you are a current or former NHS worker that might have been wrongly advised about transferring your pension, the main aim of this article is to help you understand your rights and take action to claim your retirement savings back and protect your financial well-being.

“Overseas NHS workers play an important role in providing healthcare services to millions of people across the country.”

The Role of Non-British Workers in the UK

 Over the years, foreign-born NHS staff have made immeasurable contributions to the country’s healthcare system.

 They are essential in overcoming significant and ongoing challenges such as filling shortages of qualified staff, providing patient care, and advancing medical research and innovation.

 In the UK, there is a large and diverse number of non-British healthcare staff. 

Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, and support personnel arrive from all over the world, including countries like Poland, India, the Philippines, and  Zimbabwe.

 Their unique set of skills, knowledge, and extensive experience working in other healthcare systems, complement those of their British co-workers, ensuring that the NHS provides adequate care to an ever more diverse patient population.

doctor visiting a patient in the wheelchair

Furthermore, many have specialised skills and expertise in areas such as critical care, infectious diseases, and surgery, which are highly valued by the NHS employers and is testament to the importance of international collaboration in the medical sector.

Challenges Faced by Overseas Workers in the NHS

While overseas workers make invaluable contributions to the UK healthcare system, they also face a number of challenges when it comes to adapting to the UK healthcare system.

 Changes to immigration policies, language barriers, cultural differences, and training requirements are only few of the many obstacles they have to overcome when relocating to the UK.

 Furthermore, despite the many efforts made by healthcare employers to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture, foreign-born employees are still more likely to experience harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment at work from both patients and colleagues.

Despite the many efforts made by healthcare employers to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture, foreign-born employees are still more likely to experience harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment at work.”

The Impact of Mis-Sold Pension Transfers on Non-British health professionals

Pension mis-selling occurs when regulated financial advisers or non-regulated entities provide misleading recommendations to individuals, encouraging them to transfer their pension to an inferior pension scheme.

 Often the intention behind this action is to gain upfront and ongoing revenue for the financial advisor or pension provider, and, in many cases, this can result in a significant loss for the pension holder.

 In fact, when a pension is mis-sold, the individual may unknowingly transfer their savings into high-risk or inappropriate investments, and the consequences could lead to financial hardship, reduced quality of life, and increased reliance on family members or charitable organizations for support in old age.

As they might not be as familiar with the UK pension system and might not have access to reliable independent financial advice, overseas health professionals could easily fall prey to inadequate guidance and advice, where unrealistic high returns or false and/or insufficient information can lead to a detrimental outcome, one that would not be realised until retirement, if, at all!

“Overseas health professionals could easily fall prey to inadequate guidance and advice.”

 Therefore, it is very important that all NHS employees, including, non-British members of staff, are made aware of the risks of mis-sold pensions, and that they take the right steps to protect their retirement. This may include, seeking independent financial advice before making any decisions about their pensions, and taking action to reclaim any lost benefits.

Failing to do so, could have a devastating repercussion on overseas NHS workers, as they might not have access to other forms of financial support, such as social security or pension benefits from their home countries.

Protecting Overseas NHS Workers from Pension mis-selling

Healthcare employers and stakeholders have the responsibility of protecting the rights and interests of all NHS staff, including employees that have non-British nationality, and ensuring that they have the support and resources they need to succeed and thrive in their careers.

 Due to the complexity of the UK pension system and the potential for mis-selling, all workers should have access to educational resources and support network to better understand the risks and benefits of pension transfers and other financial decisions. 

Overseas NHS workers should also be encouraged to have a solid understanding of how the system works, their options, and the risks and benefits of each option. This would empower them to get a better understanding of their individual financial situation and make informed decisions about their pensions, to avoid falling victim to mis-selling scams and/or unsuitable advice.

All workers should have access to educational resources and support network to better understand the risks and benefits of pension transfers.”

Conclusion 

 In conclusion, overseas workers in the NHS contribute significantly to the UK healthcare system. Yet, they also face various difficulties when relocating, including language barriers, cultural differences, and training requirements.

That’s why it is important that they are equipped with the right knowledge and support, so that they are able to work in safe, supportive, and equitable environments.

 How Can Money And Me Solicitors Help You with a Pension Mis-Selling Claim? 

 If you are an overseas health professional working for the NHS and you think you may have been a victim of a mis-sold pension, call us on 01925 859625, email Info@moneyandmesolicitors.co.uk or request a call back by filling the form below.

 At Money and Me Solicitors, we specialise in assisting people in obtaining compensation for mis-sold pensions. We aim to help anyone who may have been misled by false information, including overseas NHS employees, by offering support, direction and guiding them through the difficult process of filing a claim. 

At Money and Me Solicitors, we specialise in assisting people in obtaining compensation for mis-sold pensions.

 We will typically begin by:

  • assessing your case
  • reviewing any relevant documentation
  • establishing whether there is a claim for compensation

 If we think that you have a valid case, we will then gather the evidence, liaise with the pension provider, and work to achieve a settlement on your behalf.

 This can involve recovering any lost money, by way of compensation that you might be entitled to.

 We will provide ongoing assistance and advice throughout the process and we will ensure that you are kept up to date on the status of your claim.

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