BMA responds to findings of Ministry of Justice consultation on judicial pensions

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Thursday 25 February 2021
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Commenting on the  Ministry of Justice judicial pensions consultation response, Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA pensions committee chair, said:

“The outcome of this consultation is of course important for judges but there are also parallels with the situation faced by tens of thousands of doctors. The unfair taxation on pensions  that has caused retention and recruitment issues for judges, are the very same taxes that are having a terrible impact on the NHS with doctors having to reduce the work they do for patients or retire early, despite doctors wanting to provide more care for patients.  

“The Ministry of Justice consultation, launched in the summer last year, asked for comments on the department’s proposals for remedying the discrimination identified in the 2015 judicial pension reforms. These reforms discriminated against younger judges  - similar to the NHS - by offering transitional protection to those closest to retirement.

“Similar to the consultation including the NHS pension scheme, the Government has offered judges the choice between legacy and reformed scheme benefits. However unlike the outcome for the NHS, the Government has reviewed the structure of the reformed scheme.

“To redress the workforce and retention issues in the judiciary, similar to those faced by doctors, the Government has essentially created an exemption from the impact of pensions taxation for judges.”

“This shows that a solution can be found to avoid highly skilled and experienced workers having to choose between continuing to work in their profession and facing a large tax bill for their pension or leaving it altogether. The BMA has repeatedly called on the Government to find a way of mitigating against large pension taxation bills for doctors to avoid them having to leave the NHS and deprive our health services of thousands of hours of skilled care.”

“We note the successful outcome of this consultation as it shows that a solution to some of the key issues caused by unfair pension taxation can be found. We look forward to working with the Government to push ahead on an equally successful outcome for doctors. They have waited far too long already. “    


Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. Find more background on the age discrimination case here.