Pensions crisis: government sets out plans to give doctors more flexibilityBMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5513 (Published 11 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5513
- Nigel Hawkes
The government has set out its plans1 to widen the options available in the NHS pension scheme to encourage the most highly paid clinicians not to reduce their hours for tax reasons.
A consultation2 launched on 11 September will allow staff to cut their pension contributions in any given year to avoid breaching Treasury limits and to eliminate “spikes” in contributions caused by promotions or increased earnings, spreading them instead over several years to avoid extra charges.
The Department of Health and Social Care admits that the proposed changes have been forced on it to protect services. The pension and tax rules as they currently exist discourage doctors from taking on extra work for fear of being hit by substantial tax charges.
Matt Hancock, England’s health and social care secretary, said, “Our new plan means every senior clinician will be able to carry out lifesaving work for patients safe in the knowledge that they have …