Pension tax blamed for dwindling GP numbers

The analysis found that after income tax, national insurance and pension tax charges were taken into account, the part-time GP's annual take-home income was a mere £338 lower than the full-time GP's, despite working half the hours.

In January, Matthew Hancock, secretary of state for Health and Social Care, admitted that tax charges on pensions were "the biggest concern I have raised with me by GPs" and said he was in talks with HM Treasury to change the lifetime allowance on pensions for GPs to help address retention problems in the sector.  

Last month (April 2019), the British Medical Association alerted members of the NHS pension scheme affected by the tapered allowance that they could get a higher pension if they worked part-time. They also wrote to chancellor Philip Hammond urging HM Treasury to meet with them to find a solution for the problem.

The BMA consultants committee warned that to avoid annual allowance tax charges "consultants must limit their income, and in most cases, this means stopping doing regular overtime in the form of additional programmed activities".

It also proposed a policy which would allow doctors to recycle their employer’s pension contributions and called for a UK-wide scheme for NHS staff to retain or purchase death-in-service benefits.

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