NHS suggests ‘partial pensions’ for GPs

The National Health Service (NHS) asked the government to offer GPs ‘partial pensions’ to in order to stem the flow of doctors leaving the NHS pension scheme.

Along with the British Medical Association (BMA), the NHS has recommended giving GPs the option to half their pension contributions in its five-year framework for GP contract reform.

Their report noted that the annual allowance cap “creates an incentive for GPs to either cut their commitment to the NHS, or quit the NHS pension scheme all together”.

They hope that this can be countered by offering GPs the option of halving their contributions, which would halve the rate at which their pension builds up.

It also highlighted that the Local Government Pension Scheme already has a 50 per cent pension option and they have asked the government to consider this model for GPs.

Additionally, the contract document confirms that GPS will not have to bear the cost the planned rise in employer contributions under the NHS pension scheme, which proposed an increase of employer contributions from 14.3 per cent to 20.6 per cent.

Commenting on the document, BMA GP committee chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, said: “We are confident that these widespread changes – the most significant in 15 years – will deliver the best not just for GPs across England, but also for the patients they treat on a daily basis.

“We are pleased after months of discussions with NHS England, to have negotiated a package of reforms to the GP contract and beyond, that will begin addressing the unsustainable situation – whereby doctors are choosing to leave the profession while patients wait longer and longer for appointments – and laying the foundations for a general practice fit for the future.”

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