McCloud latest: what rules will be implemented now?

Consultation outcome published before remedy implementation

By Edie Bourne

Doctors now know how the ‘McCloud remedy’ for pension tax rules will be implemented this month following the publication of the final NHS consultation results. 

The outcome of the consultation, which started in the Spring and concluded in June this year, is that some of the technical proposals will be taken forward but others will be amended following critical feedback. 

The McCloud remedy aims to recompense NHS scheme members deemed to have suffered age discrimination when the 2015 pension scheme was introduced. 

They will now be able to receive their original benefits from the 1995 or 2008 scheme for the seven years of the ‘remedy period’, which runs from 2015, when the new pension scheme began, to 2022.

It was announced that a new digital service from HMRC, which is yet to be made available at the time of writing, will allow scheme members to correct their tax payments for the years within the remedy period.

They will also be able to apply for compensation online for any tax overpayments. 


Importantly, members will not need to include an annual allowance charge on their tax return for tax year 2022-23 or resubmit a self-assessment tax return for any tax year during the remedy period. 

Patrick Convey

Patrick Convey, technical director at Cavendish Medical, told Independent Practitioner Today: ‘We have waited a long time for the details of McCloud implementation to be presented. 

‘The outcome of the consultation is largely advantageous for doctors, but it is still very challenging for the busy medic to unpick the many caveats. 

‘The results of the consultation have also been released just a few weeks before the official implementation deadline. 

‘One of the significant announcements is that if members opted out of the pension scheme within six months of the remedy period starting, they will be able to ‘buy back’ their missing service without having to provide too much evidence that they opted out because of the discrimination.’

It was also announced that scheme members who are affected by McCloud will not receive an annual pensions savings statement this autumn as usual, as the NHS Pensions Agency attempts to rework the calculations for every year of the remedy period. But these should instead be provided by 6 October 2024. 

Mr Convey said: ‘We have been talking about McCloud for years now and it is good to finally get the information we need to move things forward. There is a huge amount of work needing to be done – by the NHS Pensions Agency and by the individual medics trying to understand their complex data. 

‘For many, calculating their pension input and subsequent annual allowance charges was hard enough the first time, but now reworking those figures is daunting.’ 

‘We cannot stress enough that you do not need to attempt these sums on your own. Make sure you seek expert help from those who are adept at working with these figures daily.’