BMA gives members chance to vote on government's final pensions offer

GPs will vote on changes to their NHS pensions, the BMA has announced.

BMA campaign materials such as this window sticker bear the strapline ‘Fair Treatment for NHS Pensions’.
BMA campaign materials such as this window sticker bear the strapline ‘Fair Treatment for NHS Pensions’.

Following a final offer from the government, expected in December or January, BMA members will be asked to give their views on whether the offer is acceptable.

A BMA spokesman said the union would also use the vote to get a 'steer' on industrial action.

The BMA Council agreed on Thursday that ‘given the strength of feeling within the profession, members should have their say on the future of their pensions’.

Following the Council's decision, the BMA will begin an intensive workplace outreach programme to raise awareness of the proposals and to help ensure members’ personal details are completely up to date - a vital step if a ballot is to go ahead.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum described the proposed reforms as ‘manifestly unfair’ since the NHS scheme was reviewed in 2008.

‘Doctors stand to be very hard hit by the proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme.  Those at the start of their careers face the prospect of paying around £200,000 more in lifetime contributions, and of working much longer.

‘This also comes at a time when doctors are subject to a pay freeze.  These changes are so significant it is vital that our members have their say on what should happen,’ Dr Meldrum said.

Despite choosing not to ballot members, Dr Meldrum said that the BMA is encouraging members to show support for the ‘day of action’ on 30 November.

‘We hope the government will see reason and engage in more meaningful negotiations to reach a settlement that is fair to all parties involved, and so avoid any further disruption to the public.’

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