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Consultation is step forward but more to be done to resolve pension issues say BMA

Responding the launch of the new Government consultation aimed at giving NHS clinicians more pension flexibility, BMA consultants committee deputy co-chair Dr Phil De Warren-Penny, said:

“We are encouraged by the news of the consultation – it is something we have pressed the Government on for some time. It’s a useful contribution to the work that is needed to reform pension taxation laws, but while the options within this consultation will help alleviate the issues, they will not resolve it.

“To succeed we need to see NHS employers doing their part and recycling all of the employer contributions. If they don’t it’s still an effective pay cut for doctors for doing extra shifts. The real heart of the problem is the tapered annual allowance which must be removed along with the annual allowance and lifetime allowance. Only when these are removed can doctors return to working extra shifts to help remove waiting list backlogs and support colleagues where there are rota gaps, without fear of receiving huge tax bills.

“For GPs and doctors working in the armed forces, they too need to see measures to afford them similar temporary relief. Without these measures, many GPs and those working in the armed forces will be forced to further reduce their hours or leave altogether.

“Above all, the reform needs to happen at pace. It cannot wait for the current turmoil in parliament to be resolved and it cannot wait until doctors have been forced to reduce their hours so much, or leave the NHS altogether that patients come to harm. The Government must not wait until the damage is done and patients have paid the price before it implements these much-needed reforms. By then it will be too late for thousands of doctors and too late for many patients.”  

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union 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.

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