latest health care news

22.07.19

Government consulting senior clinicians on NHS pensions changes

Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, is asking consultants, GPs and other senior clinicians for their views on proposals to change NHS pensions to allow clinicians to take on extra work caring for patients, without fear of receiving higher tax bills.

The Department of Health and Social Care is aware that some clinicians are considering reducing their work to slow down the rate at which their NHS pension grows each year.

This is because they don’t want to breach their annual allowance of up to £40,000.

The NHS People Plan set out plans to  offer a fairer and more flexible approach to the NHS Pension Scheme for high-earning clinicians, following discussions with employers and doctors.

Today the government has opened a consultation on a new 50:50 option, which lets clinicians halve their pension contributions in exchange for halving the rate of pension growth.

Improved flexibility will give clinicians more control to better manage their pensions growth and tax liabilities.

The consultation focuses on 50:50 as the main option to resolving concerns, as it balances simplicity with the need to offer flexibility.

Mr Hancock said: “I love the NHS and the people who dedicate their lives to caring for patients.

“Each and every one of them is crucial to our Long Term Plan for the NHS, yet too many of our most experienced clinicians are reducing their hours, or leaving the NHS early because of frustrations over their pension.

“I want them to know that I am listening and I want to work with them to fix it for the sake of patients.

“We want to make it easier for our hardworking senior doctors to balance their workload, their pension pot and their tax bill ‒ with more flexibility, more choice, and less need to pay upfront.

“It’s vital any changes are based on real experiences and I urge all consultants, senior nurses and GPs to have their say.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, added: “We welcome this new consultation which shows a willingness and commitment from government to reform the scheme to address the impact of pension taxation on NHS staff, organisations and service delivery.”

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