View more on these topics

Government offers NHS doctors more flexible pensions

A female Caucasian doctor and a young girl of African descent are indoors in a hospital room. The girl has cancer. She is being comforted by her doctor while being hooked up to an IV.The government is looking to make pensions more flexible for senior doctors under new proposals.

In recent months, fears over staff attrition in the NHS have increased, as doctors and medical organisations report increased cases of senior staff working fewer hours, opting out of the NHS Pension Scheme, or retiring earlier due to the tax implications of breaching the lifetime or annual allowance.

Health secretary Matt Hancock reportedly met with chancellor Philip Hammond earlier this year to discuss ways to address the problem.

Under the proposals now put forward, known as a 50:50 plan, the government argues high-earning clinicians would be able to take better advantage of pension provision and working patterns by building their NHS pension more gradually, with steadier contributions to avoiding significant tax charges on a regular basis.

Feature: Should the pension tax system be changed to solve NHS staff problems?

By halving pension contributions in exchange for half the rate of pension growth, the government argues that doctors would be able to take on additional shifts or fill rota gaps with less concerns over the tax implications.

While some have sided with doctors on the issue, other commentators have urged the government against giving preferential treatment to a particular sector.

In its statement, the government says it will “continue to examine the evidence on how this specific issue affects other public sector workforces”.

Hancock says: “Our NHS runs on the hard work and dedication of brilliant staff who deliver world-class care for patients every day. Each and every senior consultant, nurse or GP is crucial to the future of our NHS, yet we are losing too many of our most experienced people early because of frustrations over pensions.

“We have listened to the concerns of hardworking staff across the country and are determined to find a solution that better supports our senior clinicians so we can continue to attract and keep the best people.”



Tony Wickenden: The impact of Brexit on taxation

Leaving the EU would free the UK from tax commitments, but mirroring those obligations might be a condition of a deal Brexit and taxation are not two subjects mentioned in the same breath that often. But as a leader of a support business for the financial planning sector, it’s a combination I thought was worth […]


Six hundred advice firms adopt PFS DB transfer standard

More than 600 firms have signed up to the Personal Finance Society’s new standard aimed to improve defined benefit transfers since its launch last month. It consists of consumer guide for DB transfers that is meant to help consumers better understand what to expect from regulated financial advice. The guide defines an adviser code based […]

Vodafone or Alphabet – will either be paying a dividend in 2022?

Digital disruption is creating all types of havoc across industries and now dormant areas of the market such as tobacco, telecommunications and utilities are starting to feel the pinch. Long seen as sectors with predictable cash flow generation protected by either regulation or dominant market positions, a number of these companies have unsustainability leveraged up […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This just highlights the main issue that hard work doesn’t pay.

    I have a growing list of clients who have invested in their education and careers, sacrificing much in their early years of the workplace, achieving the status of a higher than average earner, to be taxed to death and not able to save for their retirement to be self sufficient as much as someone who is on perhaps a more modest wage.

    If the government want a prosperous business community, we have to have a balance of being able to save for the future across the board of earners. The annual allowance cap and lifetime allowance seem fair, but the tapering of annual allowance has too many consequences.

  2. Andrew Cartlidge 4th June 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Presumably the next group of public sector workers to be singled out for special treatment will be MPs? Interesting that Mr Hancock only cares about how these particular issues affect public sector workers! What about those millions more in the private sector whose taxes substantially finance public sector pensions?

  3. Far worse problems to have. Even with the LTA on the excess, it’s still going to be better value than everyone else’s workplace pension. Also, bear in mind many of these doctors only work part time in the NHS and take on private work (often doing low stress activities such as Botox jabs ) at sky high rates the rest of the week. Reducing the cost of training to be a doctor and more sensible shift patterns and hours might be a more sensible way of keeping the NHS staffed.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm