Govt's new pension rules met with criticism

Dr Phil De Warren-Penny, deputy co-chair of the British Medical Association consultants committee, said the union was encouraged by the consultation.

However, to succeed NHS employers need to do their part and recycle all of the employer contributions, he noted.

He said: “If they don’t it’s still an effective pay cut for doctors for doing extra shifts. The real heart of the problem is the tapered annual allowance which must be removed along with the annual allowance and lifetime allowance.

“Only when these are removed can doctors return to working extra shifts to help remove waiting list backlogs and support colleagues where there are rota gaps, without fear of receiving huge tax bills.”

The department of Health and Social Care stated the proposals would “mean GPs and other senior clinicians have freedom to individually control how much their pension pot grows, allowing them to maximise the amount they can save without facing significant pension tax bills having breached limits on tax relief”.

The government recognised that a third of doctors may be incentivised to not take on extra shifts on top of their contracted hours because of how the NHS Pension Scheme interacts with the wider pension tax rules.

In August it stated the Treasury would be reviewing the impact of the tapered annual allowance after doctors have been campaigning to scrap it for months.

Introduced in 2016, the tapered annual allowance gradually reduces the allowance for those on high incomes, meaning they are more likely to suffer an annual tax charge on contributions and a lifetime allowance tax charge on their benefits.

The taper means that for every £2 of adjusted income above £150,000 a year, £1 of annual allowance will be lost.

Today's consultation stated: "The government is listening to concerns about how the operation of the tapered annual allowance affects the delivery of public services.

"The Chancellor has announced that the Treasury will review how the tapered annual allowance operates in order to support the delivery of public services."

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on to let us know.