BMA dismisses plans to fix pension rules

Senior doctors have given the thumbs down to the Government’s pension consultation to ‘fix’ pension rules and ease their tax burden. 

Dr Vishal Sharma

The plans fall short of long-term solutions according to the BMA’s pensions committee chairman Dr Vishal Sharma who said they appeared to be ‘too little, too late’.

His team, and other interested parties, were given eight weeks from before Christmas to consider the detail and respond.

But he warned: ‘Doctors will continue to incur sky-high and completely unexpected tax bills, simply by continuing to provide care for patients; care that they desperately need.

‘At a time when staff are facing unprecedented pressure, this is devastating for morale and it’s unsurprising that people are planning to leave in their droves.’

He complained that although a proposed partial retirement option and greater flexibility for recently retired doctors returning to work had potential benefits, the issues caused by the annual and lifetime allowances were not being directly addressed.

‘These are not just issues for doctors nearing retirement, but they are also increasingly influencing the decisions of mid-career consultants and GPs, for whom partial retirement would not be an option.’