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You will hopefully have seen in the press that the persistent lobbying by the BMA on pensions has paid off – the DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) and Treasury have announced a consultation on pension changes that are causing huge tax bills for some GPs and consultants.
I’m very aware that for many sessional colleagues the thought of hitting the annual or lifetime pension allowances never crosses their minds. A much bigger problem for those of us who work as locum GPs is the annualisation and the unfair overcharging, which came into effect with DHSC regulations from 1 April this year.
We provide more information on how the 2015 NHS pension scheme regulations are applied in practical terms through our series of blogs and guidance. In summary, the Government has chosen to assume that every locum GP works 365 days per year and ‘annualises’ all earnings to this amount, which grossly inflates figures above our actual incomes. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of doctors into the highest contribution tier and it does not come with any additional benefits. It seems particularly unfair that those of us who work fewer hours stand to lose the most from these regulations.
The sessional GPs committee is lobbying the Government to look into this issue, and I want members to know this remains a real priority for us. Hopefully, recent announcements indicate a new willingness to cooperate and review policies, and I hope to be able to feed back with some positive news. In the meantime, please don’t forget to check our existing guidance on annualisation.
Ben Molyneux is the chair of the sessional GPs committee
I am losing most of what I have just gained from the indemnity changes. Please continue to kick up a massive fuss about this!
Thanks for keeping up the pressure on fighting this wholly unjust new system. Presumably the obvious lack of fairness when it comes to diversity will help us. My MP has also asked questions to the DOH about this. It's true that the whole thing about lifetime/annual allowances just creates this idea we are all rich.
It is so unfair that someone can be earning less than the threshold for higher rate tax and also pay the highest tier of pension contributions. This compounds the problem by giving you tax relief on the contribution at only 25%. (Higher rate of tax relief is the reason for the large jump between the 9.3% contribution rate and 12.5%.) The effect is that these relatively low earners pay the highest contributions of anyone.
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