I agree absolutely with your editor’s comment about the LMCs conference vote on pensions.
Whatever the response from the press, this was something we couldn’t take without a fight.
Reports in Pulse earlier in the year demonstrated just how devastating the effect of the pension reforms would be on GPs’ pockets, along with those of other public-sector workers.
I seem to remember seeing evidence that GPs retiring at 60 had a much better longevity than those retiring at 65, let alone 68. We will all be expected to work until we drop, literally.
Our pension contributions went up considerably a few years ago, and the NHS pension finances are healthy, yet Lord Hutton’s reforms propose further massive increases in contributions, poorer benefits and a much higher retirement age – a triple whammy. Is it necessary?
Moreover, the work of doctors is different from many other public-sector workers. It is really questionable whether it is possible to do the job safely, and without intolerable stress levels, until 65 or 68.
I intend to go at 60 and have already taken out a private pension to top up my NHS one. I would have done so years ago if I had known this was coming. By failing to vote for this motion, and the one on revalidation, the LMC representatives have shown that the Government can trample over GPs and we will never put up a fight.
These two votes have persuaded me that I am right not to be a member of either the LMC or the BMA.
From Dr John Pike,