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Pensions changes could cost GPs £80m a year, warns the BMA

The Government’s plans to move to a ‘single-tier’ state pension could cost GP practices £80m a year in additional national insurance payments, the BMA has warned.

In a joint statement, the BMA and NHS Employers have warned that the plans to abolish second state pensions in 2016 will result in employers – including GP practices – and employees national insurance (NI) rates rising.

At the moment, doctors in the NHS do not accrue a state second pension because they are paying into the NHS pension scheme, which is ‘contracted out’. In return, members and employers receive an NI rebate which translates into lower contributions.

However, this rebate will end in 2016. BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter said the higher costs would be ‘impossible for GP practices to absorb’.

He wrote to Mr Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, and said: ‘Clearly this would be impossible for GP practices to absorb and I would be grateful for your assurance that this cost would be met with a commensurate increase to practice funding.’