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BMA gearing up for fresh pensions legal challenge

By Steve Nowottny

The BMA is preparing to draw up plans for a legal challenge to a long-standing pensions ruling which sees unequal payments made to the spouses of male and female doctors who worked prior to 1988.

Under the existing rules, surviving spouses of female GPs receive a lower pension than the spouses of male GPs for work carried out up to 1988– even though both sexes were required to make the same contributions at the time.

Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA's Pensions Committee, said the ruling had long been seen as ‘completely unjustifiable', but that more recent legal advice had ‘opened the door' for a potential challenge.

‘We're more advanced in challenging this than we've ever been before,' he said ‘I would be hoping to finalise things by the middle of the year.'

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