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Independents' Day

Dozens of BMA doctors to sue Government over 'discriminating' pension scheme

BMA doctors are set to sue the Government over the 'discriminating' NHS pension scheme. 

The BMA announced today that 'at least a dozen' of its members will take legal action against the Government as they believe to have been forced to join a pension scheme that will 'result in huge financial losses when they retire'.

The BMA is requesting the Government:

  • To agree the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme does unlawfully discriminate against its younger members;
  • To scrap the scheme so that doctors are not adversely affected by it in later years.  

The news follows a rulling in December by the Court of Appeal, which said the Government discriminated against judges and firefighters in relation to changes made to their pension scheme in 2015, which is similar to the NHS scheme.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced last week that the Government's appeal failed.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'Although doctors' pension schemes are different, the BMA believes the underlying legal principles are essentially the same and we want to bring a challenge on behalf of the UK's younger doctors regarding the legality of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme.

'In March of this year, the BMA wrote to the health and social care Secretary Matt Hancock warning him of the intention to take legal action. Letters were also sent to the Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments on behalf of members in those nations. We have made our intention and position very clear and we expect to support many more doctors in the coming month.'

It follows the news that the Government has ruled out a review of pension tax charges, despite criticism that the issue is adding to workforce issues. 

Readers' comments (15)

  • Well done the BMA, Vice-Chair David Wrigley (GP) and all the other doctors (20 in total I believe) who have stood up to be counted on behalf of UK doctors. I’m one of two Scottish GPs taking “The Scottish Ministers” to court via the BMA to reverse this discriminatory pension situation.

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  • Well done David and Iain.

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  • Well done. Fully support you. It is obvious and clear discrimination. Interesting to see how they wriggle out of it.

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  • Rogue1

    Apparently the Firemen and Nurses have had similar discriminatory changes to the pensions. They have both taken the government to court on this - and both won!
    So if the BMA cant get a result when there are 2 similar precedents then they truly are a waste of space

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  • Could this be a negotiating tactic by the BMA to force the government to look at the pension tax charges ?!

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