The government is consulting on proposals to make the NHS Pension Scheme more flexible and transparent for senior clinicians.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, is asking consultants, GPs and other senior clinicians for their views on proposals to change NHS pensions to allow clinicians to take on extra work caring for patients without fear of receiving higher tax bills.
The Department of Health and Social Care said it is aware that some clinicians are considering reducing their workload and turning down additional work to slow down the rate at which their NHS pension grows each year. This is because they don’t want to breach their annual allowance of up to £40,000.
The government said it will listen to feedback on the 50:50 proposal and all ideas on pension flexibility by consulting for 12 weeks before making changes in time for the new financial year.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said “I love the NHS and the people who dedicate their lives to caring for patients. Each and every one of them is crucial to our Long Term Plan for the NHS, yet too many of our most experienced clinicians are reducing their hours, or leaving the NHS early because of frustrations over their pension.”
“I want them to know that I am listening and I want to work with them to fix it for the sake of patients.”
“We want to make it easier for our hardworking senior doctors to balance their workload, their pension pot and their tax bill ‒ with more flexibility, more choice, and less need to pay upfront.”
“It’s vital any changes are based on real experiences and I urge all consultants, senior nurses and GPs to have their say.”
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said “We welcome this new consultation which shows a willingness and commitment from government to reform the scheme to address the impact of pension taxation on NHS staff, organisations and service delivery.”
“It is especially welcome to see the government is not only asking for feedback on their original proposal to introduce a 50:50 section for senior clinicians, but is actively seeking views on alternative solutions and proposals.”
“The consultation recognises the importance of the work of the Scheme Advisory Board, through which NHS Employers is leading the development of a recommendation on introducing scheme flexibilities for the benefit of all NHS staff.”
“We recognise the complexity of this area and welcome the opportunity to share our views on how employers, trade unions and NHS Pensions can work together to improve the design and delivery of the pension scheme.”