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Alarm bells over planned review of NHS pensions

Have your readers received notification of the forthcoming review of NHS pensions? As the usual outcome of such reviews is that the service is reduced, costs more, or the benefits are curtailed, we should be very wary.

The only professional group who have recently had their pension benefits enhanced have been MPs who voted through a substantial improvement to their own scheme!

The changes are due to be implemented by 2013, which seems a long way away ­ but if you were born after 1953 this will affect you.

I have bought added years and paid heavily for them. My personal aim was to retire with a full pension at age 60. If the outcome of the review is unfavourable maybe there will be a mass exodus of doctors who want to avoid any planned changes. Is the real aim of this review to curtail costs of both salaries and pensions?

The outcome of the review has not yet been reached but statements that Department of Health officials had 'stitched up' the BMA negotiators mean we need to be very vigilant.

I would urge all doctors and other staff who might be affected to e-mail: nhspensionsreview@nhsconfed.org or write to: NHS Pensions Scheme Review, 1 Warwick Row, London SW1E 5ER.

Dr Huw Thomas

Woking

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