BMA to sue govt following firefighters’ pension age discrimination case

British Medical Association (BMA) doctors are planning to sue the government as they feel they were forced to join a pension scheme which discriminated against their age.

The legal action has been planned in light of the government being refused leave to appeal by the Court of Appeal, which found that changes made to firefighters’ and judge’s pension schemes were discriminatory.

BMA has said that at least a dozen doctors will be taking legal action because they believe that being forced to join the new pension scheme will result in financial losses when they retire.

Similarly to the case argued by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), the BMA has argued that alterations meant that older members could stay in the existing and ‘better’ pension scheme, while younger members had to transfer to the new and ‘worse’ scheme.

Commenting, BMA chair of council, 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.”

The NHS closed two sections of the NHS Pension Scheme in 2015 and moved some of its staff to a newer scheme, although some older employees were allowed to stay in the older scheme until they retired or moved to the new scheme at the end of a transition period.

The BMA is calling on the government to scrap the scheme so that doctors are not adversely affected by it in the future.

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