BMA lobbies MPs over pension reform proposals

BMA leaders have reiterated fears about the impact of NHS pension reforms in a campaign urging MPs to vote against pensions legislation later this month.

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter: pension reforms entrench unfairness
BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter: pension reforms entrench unfairness

Ahead of the second reading on 22 October of the Public Service Pensions Bill, which will provide the legislation needed for NHS pension reforms, the BMA said the Bill would ‘entrench disparities across and within public sector pension schemes’.

The union has published an in-depth analysis of the Bill and a parliamentary briefing for all Westminster MPs ahead of a second reading in the House of Commons.

The BMA warned that the Bill would force doctors in England and Wales to pay ‘significantly more’ for their pensions than other public sector employees on similar salaries by increasing contributions.

The BMA warned the same changes were likely to take effect in Scotland and Northern Ireland, despite planning a ballot for hospital doctors in Scotland on the possibility of further industrial action.

The union also criticised plans to link the NHS pension age to the state pension age, potentially forcing doctors across the UK to work beyond 65.

‘There has been a lack of consideration as to whether there are other areas of the public sector where working beyond 65 is inappropriate, as is already considered the case for the police and firefighters, who will keep their Normal Pension Age of 60,’ the BMA said.

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said: ‘If the Government is serious about creating a coherent approach to public sector pensions, it needs to tackle this unfairness rather than entrench it.’

The BMA has also called on doctors and medical students to raise their concerns about the pension changes and the Bill with their MPs using an online toolkit.

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