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A less rosy view of NHS pension contributions

From Dr Martin Atkinson, Yoxall, Staffordshire

Please could you be more critical of articles such as

the one written by Shane

Stack on the merits of

NHS pensions (Finance,

1 March)?

The contribution cost

of the NHS pension scheme

is no longer as rosy and

simple as Mr Stack would have us believe.

He says: 'You pay 6 per cent of earnings [net cost 3.6 per cent] and the NHS pays 14 per cent...'

Only a limited proportion

of GP income enjoys this hereditary status and soon the 6 per cent will become 8 per cent for higher earners (a lot of us, apparently!).

We have to contribute

the employer contribution

of 14 per cent as well on all 'non-legacy' income and of course some of us had contracted to pay added years contributions before GMS2 started.

This means that it is not unusual for some GPs to be liable for contributions at

24-25 per cent on a good part

of their income and some of these GPs are not young enough to have the contributions capped.

This produces a very complicated scenario that

was obviously unforeseen by our contract negotiators.

By the way, a very small proportion of GPs will be set

to retire on a pension of £66,000 a year – less likely if the Department of Health has its way over uprating factors, so most of us can relax about breaching the pension pot limits!

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