Doctors’ pension row spreads to other arms of the public sector

The crisis that has seen doctors refuse to take on extra shifts has spread to other public sector workers.

The government's attempts to resolve the crisis that has seen doctors refuse to take on extra shifts or even opt for early retirement because of pension tax rules are at risk of backfiring. Other public sector workers have now begun to demand similar concessions.

Ministers had hoped that reforms to the NHS Pension Scheme would help solve a growing staffing crisis in the health service partly caused by senior doctors choosing not to work more because of the impact on their tax bills.

The changes should mean fewer doctors are caught out by the tapered pension allowance, which reduces the contributions that higher earners may make to pension schemes; it also levies high tax charges on those who exceed their allowances.

However, the changes have now prompted calls from senior public servants in other professions for similar treatment. For instance, the Forces Pension Society, which represents the interests of members of the armed forces, has told ministers that many senior soldiers are being caught out in the same way as doctors.

Representatives of police and fire chiefs have made similar statements. The spreading row will increase the pressure on the Treasury to consider more fundamental pension reforms. These may include scrapping the tapered allowance altogether.

Recommended

How to deal with self-assessment tax returns after a very trying year
Tax

How to deal with self-assessment tax returns after a very trying year

The Covid-19 pandemic will complicate the self-assessment tax return process for 2019-20. What if you can’t pay? Ruth Jackson-Kirby has some advice.
20 Jan 2021
Suspending your pension contributions? Remember the magic of compounding
Pensions

Suspending your pension contributions? Remember the magic of compounding

Think very carefully before suspending your pension contributions, or you will miss out on compound interest – the “eighth wonder of the world”.
12 Jan 2021
Shop around to secure the best Sipp
Self invested personal pensions

Shop around to secure the best Sipp

If you’re one of the growing number of savers with a self-invested personal pension (Sipp), make it a new year’s resolution to check you’re getting va…
11 Jan 2021
9 January 1799: income tax introduced to Britain
This day in history

9 January 1799: income tax introduced to Britain

In the 1790s, with Britain at war with Napoleon, the country urgently needed cash. And so on this day in 1799, a 10% levy was raised on all income ove…
9 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021
When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?
US stockmarkets

When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?

With US stocks more expensive than before the Wall Street crash of 1929, there are growing signs of “mania”. But what will push markets over the edge?
22 Jan 2021