Truss pledges to address NHS pension tax issues

Conservative Party leadership frontrunner, Liz Truss, has stated that she would address pension tax issues that are leading to senior NHS staff retiring early, The Telegraph has reported.

According to the news outlet, Truss is planning to undertake a series of reforms to try and halt the exodus of staff and encourage retirees to return.

Pension tax rules surrounding the NHS Pension Scheme have previously been branded a “national scandal” by the Health and Social Care Committee, with more than a third of those exceeding the annual allowance in 2019/20 being members of the NHS Pension Scheme.

According to The Telegraph, addressing the NHS backlog would be one of Truss’s top three priorities if she was chosen as the next Prime Minister.

A source close to Truss told The Telegraph that she would tackle the issue by cutting red tape and dealing with issues in the pension and tax system that currently act as barriers for people wanting to return.

Truss’s draft plans being reportedly being considered would allow doctors to continue working after reaching their lifetime allowance without paying the taxes that are leading to many senior staff retiring early.

She is also considering plans to introduce a ‘retire and return’ scheme that would replace ad hoc programmes in individual NHS trusts, where staff have returned to work part time on low-paid, short-term contracts.

Under this potential scheme, retired doctors could have pension rules that limit their part-time earnings relaxed and training courses that are required for returning retirees would be cut.

Furthermore, Truss is reportedly assessing plans by the Health and Social Care Committee to reform the NHS Pension Scheme and is considering scrapping a rule that bans returning staff from earning more from their pension and pay combined than they would have earned if they were working full time.

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