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22-08-2011 | General practice | Article

BMA slams pension plans

Abstract

BMA Pensions Reform

The government's planned changes to public-sector pensions will mean that a typical GP pays over £200,000 more over the course of his or her career and receives around £20,000 less on retirement, according to research by the BMA.

The BMA commissioned actuaries to calculate the financial impact of the government's changes to the NHS Pension Scheme, set out in a consultation paper in July.

The study used modelling to examine the impact of a career average revalued earnings scheme, the already-implemented change from Retail Price Index to Consumer Price Index, and the planned increase in pension contributions.

Under the plans, a doctor currently contributing 8.5% of salary would contribute 10.9% by 2012 and possibly as much as 14.5% by 2024.

A doctor currently aged 25, pursing a typical career as a GP and retiring at the future state pension age of 68, could have to make additional contributions of over £230,000 between now and retirement.

"Doctors pursuing a career as a consultant or GP will have to pay significantly higher contributions in return for a much reduced pension at retirement," the authors conclude.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum called the reforms "an assault on pensions" and urged doctors to make their views known through the DoH consultation process.

"These are unjustifiable changes to a financially healthy pension scheme which has only recently been thoroughly overhauled," he said. "This isn't about affordability, it's about the Treasury looking for yet another quick hit from public sector workers."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Joanna Lyford