latest health care news


BMA to sue government over pension changes resulting in ‘huge’ losses

The British Medical Association (BMA) is to sue the government on behalf of thousands of doctors who have claimed they have been forced to join a pension scheme that will result in “huge financial losses” when they retire.

BMA solicitors have written to the health secretary Matt Hancock, warning him of their intention to take legal action against pension changes which they say are “discriminatory.”

The action follows a Court of Appeal ruling last year involving judges and firefighters which found that the government discriminated against the workers on the grounds of age, race, and equal pay in relation to changes to their pension schemes.

The BMA said that whilst the schemes are different, it believes the underlying legal principles are essentially the same, and that the outcome of the ruling could influence any legal challenge brought on behalf of younger doctors.

In 2015, the NHS closed two sections of the NHS Pension scheme, moving thousands of staff over to a newer scheme which Trevor Pickersgill, the BMA’s interim treasurer, said has less valuable retirement benefits.

He said: “However, it also allowed some older doctors to stay on the previous schemes until they either retired or they moved to the new scheme at the end of a fixed transition period.

“The BMA alleges that the failure to allow younger doctors to benefit from these transitions constitutes unlawful age discrimination.

“Many doctors had been working towards and planning for their retirement based on membership of the former sections of the NHS pension scheme, only for those plans to be completely disregarded once the government’s discriminatory changes were brought in.”

The government is appealing the judges and firefighters ruling, which is estimated to cost around £4bn, but the BMA “is demanding that, should that appeal fail, the government will agree that 2015 NHS Pension Scheme does unlawfully discriminate against its younger members.”

“The BMA wants the government to scrap the scheme so that doctors are not adversely affected by it in later years.”

Image credit - PeopleImages


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care sy... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >