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BMA steps up pensions campaign ‘as an urgent priority’

The BMA says it is stepping up its campaign over NHS pensions and is urging members to update their details before a possible ballot on industrial action over pensions.

The new BMA campaign will also involve a social media campaign and a programme of workplace events where GPs and doctors can hear BMA pensions experts explain how their pensions pots are being hit.

BMA members can now update their workplace details online, as part of the‘Your pension. Your future. Your say’ campaign. The move is designed to ensure doctors are ‘ready to respond’ when the BMA offers them a vote on the Government’s final pensions offer. A final deal from the Government is expected later this year.

The BMA Council agreed last month to offer members a vote on the coalition’s final pensions deal. The Council said it had ‘decided to step up preparations for a possible ballot on industrial action, which would follow the vote in the event of a rejection of the proposals.’

Earlier this week Pulse revealed that GPs are currently planning to reject the Government’s proposed pensions changes and are favouring industrial action by a 2:1 majority. The survey of some 218 GPs found that 70% would reject the offer currently on the table – an offer which was improved in early November. 19% said they would accept the deal and 11% were undecided.

Today, Dr Hamish Meldrum, chair of BMA council, said the current offer on the table from the Government ‘is deeply unfair’. He urged doctors to update their details to ensure they are ‘able to have their say on their pensions’ when the BMA puts the final pensions offer to a vote.

‘Ensuring doctors and medical students are able to have their say on their pensions is an urgent priority,’ Dr Meldrum said.

‘The offer currently on the table is deeply unfair and so far there has only been some modest improvement through negotiation. All doctors would pay a lot more, and most would have to work longer for a worse deal over retirement.  Those at the start of their careers face paying up to £200,000 more over their lifetimes, and working until they are 68.’