Pension policy causing rush to retire early, says union

The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) has hit out at the Treasury for a ‘misguided, dogmatic attitude’ to NHS pension reform and warned that this must change.

Dr Sarah Tennant

Responding to strong criticism of Treasury reforms by Parlia­ment’s Public Accounts Commit­tee (PAC) in a new report, the union’s pensions lead Dr Sarah Tennant called it is a stinging critique of the department over its mishandling of pension reforms and tax rules.

These had driven much-needed hospital doctors out of the NHS into retirement and directly impacted on patient care.

She said: ‘Even more deplorable is the Treasury’s plan to pass the costs of fixing its failed reforms onto future generations of NHS staff.

‘HCSA, the PAC and many, many others warned ad nauseum of the negative impact of forcing through flawed plans on NHS pensions which have encouraged many highly skilled staff to retire early or reduce their working hours.

‘The very viability of the NHS Pension Scheme is at stake if the Treasury does not alter its misguided, dogmatic attitude and ensure that its future approach is not just based on the breathless pursuit of cost-savings, but fully considers the long-term implications for recruitment, retention and equality.’