GPC demands talks after Treasury reveals 6% pension hike

GPC leaders have demanded 'genuine negotiation' over NHS pension reforms after ministers revealed plans that could hike contributions by up to 6% for high-earning GPs.

Dr Vautrey: 'The BMA has been calling for genuine negotiations around the issues, rather than being told what will happen.'
Dr Vautrey: 'The BMA has been calling for genuine negotiations around the issues, rather than being told what will happen.'

The move would take the top rate of employee contributions for GPs to 14.5%, up from the current 8.5% top rate introduced in 2007.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed in a statement on Tuesday that the government would start consultations by the end of this month on raising public sector pension contributions.

Increases to pension contributions will be capped at 6% for the highest earners, Mr Alexander said.

Contributions will rise by an initial maximum of 2.4% from April 2012, rising to 6% by 2014, he revealed.

The government has set a pensions savings target of £1.2bn for 2012/13. The consultations later this month will cover plans to hit that year’s target only, by increasing pension contributions from April 2012.

Plans to hit savings targets for subsequent years will be discussed in negotiations with health unions.

The government is targeting savings of £2.3bn in 2013/14 and £2.8bn in 2014/15.
Mr Alexander said: ‘To deliver the first year’s savings of £1.2bn through employee contribution increases, scheme-by-scheme consultations for the unfunded public service pension schemes will commence by the end of this month.

‘The government remains committed to securing the full spending review savings of £2.3bn in 2013/14 and £2.8bn in 2014/15.’

Low-earning NHS staff will be protected from pension contribution increases.

The government has said there will be no increase in contributions for those earning under £15,000 and no more than a 1.5% rise in total by 2014/15 for those earning up to £21,000.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'The BMA has been calling for genuine negotiations around the issues, rather than being told what will happen. These are detailed proposals.'

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