BMA wins right for pensions court hearing
By Ian Quinn
The BMA has won the right to apply for a Judicial Review on widowers' pensions.
Under the current regulations of the NHS Pension Scheme (1995 section) any service accrued by a female member of the scheme prior to 6 April 1988 does not count toward a potential widower's pension for her husband - despite the fact that male and female members paid exactly the same contributions prior to this date.
The BMA said it welcomed the introduction of non-dependent widowers' pensions in 1989, but had always opposed the discriminatory position which exists between male and female members.
In March the BMA applied for a Judicial Review on the position and at an oral hearing at the London High Court received permission from the court for the review to go ahead.
The final hearing aimed at removing the discriminatory position is expected to take place in spring 2011.
Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA's Pensions Committee, said: ‘This is a good day for those affected by this inquitous situation. For the past 20 years the BMA has been trying to get this reversed, so that the female doctors affected can have the same benefits for their families as other members of the NHS pension scheme.'Dr Andrew Dearden: 'This is a good day for those affected by this inquitous situation' Dr Andrew Dearden: 'This is a good day for those affected by this inquitous situation'