The cost life crisis forces nurses throw yours pensions, according to new figures.

According to an analysis of The Royal College of Nursing.

More than 4,000 nurses gave up their pension between April and July this year, with 12,000 doing so since April last year.

According to RCN analysis, between April and July 2021, 11,500 employees said they had given up their pension because of affordability and “faced with other financial priorities”. In 2020, this doubled to 23,000.

The figures show that 34,406, 47 per cent of those who opted out between April and July 2021 and 2022, said it was a temporary decision.

The RCN has said it fears more nurses will give up their jobs amid rising costs of living.

Nurse and RCN member Jodie Elliott, from London, said she gave up her NHS pension because she could no longer afford it.

She added: “My family have always taught me the importance of securing my financial future, but every month I found myself at the bottom of my overdrafts despite being extremely careful.

“I work full time and despite constantly picking up extra work, I just can’t make ends meet. I had no choice but to leave the scheme.’

The news comes as the RCN’s vote for nurses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is due to close next week and could lead to unprecedented strike action.

The nurses’ union said a nurse on a salary of £27,000 would typically pay around £183 a month into their pension.

Royal College of Nursing General Secretary Pat Cullen (left)

(Archive PA)

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “It is a sad day when the people who care for this country from cradle to grave are not earning enough to secure their future. A lifetime of service should never mean a lifetime of poverty.

“With the rising cost of living, this situation will only get worse. Some nurses have to use food banks just to survive. Many leave the profession and ultimately patients suffer – the nursing workforce crisis means that care is not delivered and puts patients at risk.

“An easy way to recruit and retain more staff is to pay them fairly. But the ministers did not listen and now we have to consider a strike. Enough means enough.”

Wider concerns that the current cap on the pension for life is forcing NHS doctors out of service, The Sunday Times reported last week.

The current chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, raised the issue as chair of the Community Health Committee, urging the government to grant an exemption for doctors.

The figures show that between April 2022 and July 2022, 1,490 NHS staff gave up their pension due to annual and lifetime benefits. Between April 2021 and March 2022, more than 4,000 NHS staff quit for this reason.

The Department of Health and Social Protection has been contacted for comment.