Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews

Pension tax crisis: reform needs to be swift to tackle doctors’ sense of injustice

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 22 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5195
  1. Paul Youngs, chair
  1. BMA Pensions Committee
  1. paul.youngs{at}
    Follow Paul on Twitter @laupy1

It’s a sobering realisation that the government can change the system, impose tax changes, and dismiss your lifelong commitment to the NHS

I am one of thousands of senior doctors facing a situation where my pension, once perceived as a benefit for long and committed service to the NHS, is now a financial liability. The combination of an imposed new pension scheme and a fiendishly complicated regime of punitive taxation on pensions growth has caused me and many other senior doctors to question the true reward for working hard for the NHS.

My trust in “the system” is rapidly evaporating. The covenant was that you worked long and hard, dedicating your life to the NHS; in return you received a reasonable income and a comfortable retirement. It’s a sobering realisation that the government can ignore the covenant, change the system, and impose tax and pension changes, dismissing your lifelong commitment.

Employed doctors in the NHS have lived with simple tax affairs. Employers …

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