This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

Gold, incentives and meh

These short-term pensions measures are essential

Editor’s blog

The Government decision to pay the pensions tax charges of GPs and consultants this winter (although not yet confirmed) are only a short-term measure.

We do need a longer-term solution. As I have argued before, I would abolish tax on pensions contributions because the biggest effect they’ve had is to punish doctors for working.

The decision to pay the pensions tax charges shouldn’t be dismissed just because it’s only short-term

The admission from health secretary Matt Hancock in his exclusive interview with Pulse last week that he is in talks about removing the taper altogether would be a great win for the profession.

But, despite this need for a long-term solution, the decision to pay the pensions tax charges this winter should not be dismissed just because it is only short-term. The BMA has warned that this could be the worst winter on record, and we needed something drastic to prevent GPs and consultants having to pay to work.

All the parties seem to understand that this is an untenable situation. And while we wait for a long-term solution to be agreed, this recent lifeline is essential.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk

Rate this article  (5 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Readers' comments (6)

  • as far as I understand this is only for English consultants?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • David Banner

    My understanding from hospital colleagues is that there will be no “paying the bill”, but that the AA charge will be “scheme pays”. Then on retirement the AA amount will be knocked off. Of course, this means the Treasury claws some money back in increased Lifetime Allowance, but might attract doctors back to work this Winter without shelling out millions settling their tax bills.
    Quite clever, really, but scrapping the taper and increasing AA to former levels would be far more effective.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is a trap. Complicated so nobody understands and the end result is usually you get less in your bank.
    Nobody knows for sure how much their pension grows. While on the surface working appears to be giving some income, by stealth it is being taken away from you pensions and scheme pays charges you interest (more stealth tax).
    They also hope that in the short term you will work and still stay in the pension scheme after forgetting to come out or you get delayed in coming out due to the system and guess what, you end up paying pension tax.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Complicated solution which maintains the situation for government. It does not solve a problem created by the treasury, not the profession.
    We should not trust the government to honour their promise of future pay back.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • “ we needed something drastic to prevent GPs and consultants having to pay to work.”
    If you need to do something “drastic” in order to allow people to work and actually get paid for it instead of them being forced to pay out of their pocket for the privilege of working then what will it take to come up with some reasonable measures to actually incentivise people to work?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • |Alex Barlow | GP|23 Nov 2019 10:12am

    We should not trust the government (STOP!), PERIOD!

    When are we going to wise up...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say