Government to meet with Treasury over GP retirement issues

The Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) will meet with the Treasury to “review” the retirement issues for general practitioners, the Minister of Primary Care said.

Speaking during a Joint debate on access to GP appointments yesterday Primary Care Minister Maria Caulfield said the DHSC had “discussed” the “issue of general practitioner pensions” and would “certainly” look at it “further”.

She added: “We are holding a meeting with the Treasury teams to look into this more in depth. [as] there is no doubt that there is a deterrent to remaining in practice.

It came in response to comments from the NHS hospital doctor and Conservative MP for central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, who told MPs GP pensions are a ‘problem very real which prevents the current workforce from prolonging their careers “.

He said: ‘[GPs] expose themselves to very punitive sanctions in terms of their taxation. Could the minister please commit to solving this problem and raising it with the treasury.

Conservative Barnet MP Theresa Villiers added that the government must “improve to keep the GPs we have”, which “means solving the problem of doctors’ pensions”.

She said: “I know efforts have been made on this, but it is always worrying that it seems that once a doctor has been practicing for many years, he or she may face a big bill of health. taxes for his pensions. ”

“The last thing we should be doing is pushing GPs into early retirement because of punitive pension taxes. We want them to stay in training and not retire.

Pulse asked DHSC at what stage are discussions with Treasury.

The government had already pledged to address the NHS pension issues, but in February it rejected calls to reform the taxation of GP pensions, arguing that the issue had already been resolved.

And in March, the government announced that it had frozen the lifetime allowance for GP pensions until at least 2025/2026.

Prior to the announcement, the BMA warned that such a move, designed to raise taxes, could lead to a “catastrophic exacerbation” of NHS workforce shortages.

More recently, the BMA has repeatedly called on the government to reform pension taxation to prevent doctors from facing large tax bills.

It comes as the BMA took formal steps in November to seek a judicial review of the government’s ‘illegal’ management of NHS pensions.

And the pensions ombudsperson upheld a complaint against Capita and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) for “careless” handling of the pension contributions of a doctor who was then hit with a heavy tax bill.

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