BMA demands financial compensation for doctors hit by pension age discrimination

Doctors affected by age discrimination under changes to the NHS pension scheme in 2015 must receive financial compensation, the BMA has warned.

Doctors' leaders have called on the government formally to accept liability for losses suffered by doctors. The call comes after the Treasury admitted this week that a legal judgment that similar changes to other public sector pension schemes were discriminatory also applied to the NHS scheme.

More than a dozen doctors, including GPs, have launched legal action against the government over discrimination under the NHS pension scheme. The legal action is backed by the BMA.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss told parliament this week that the goverment had accepted a Supreme Court decision to reject its appeal against a decision that 2015 changes to pension schemes for firefighters and judges discriminated on the grounds of age. The schemes offered older members better benefits, through a 'transitional protection' mechanism intented to maintain benefits of the pre-2015 pension scheme for doctors near retirement age.

NHS pensions

Ms Truss said the government had accepted that because the same protection was offered in 'all the main public service pension schemes, the government believes that the difference in treatment will need to be remedied across all those schemes'. She listed schemes for the NHS, civil service, local government, teachers, police, armed forces, judiciary and fire and rescue workers.

Following the government statement, the BMA called on the government to 'commit to bringing an end to a pension scheme that discriminates against thousands of public sector workers, including doctors'.

A statement said: 'The doctors’ trade union also wants the government to agree compensation for those doctors who joined the scheme and are likely to suffer sizeable financial losses when they retire.

'Yesterday the government said it would put forward proposals to an employment tribunal to remedy the failings of the 2015 pension scheme in relation to claims brought by judges and firefighters.'

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