BMA warns pension anger will intensify after increased GP contribution offer

A further increase to doctors' and medical students' pension contributions will 'intensify the anger' they are already feeling over pension reforms, the BMA has warned.

Dr Meldrum: ‘The announcement of an even steeper hike will intensify the anger (doctors and medical students) are already feeling.'
Dr Meldrum: ‘The announcement of an even steeper hike will intensify the anger (doctors and medical students) are already feeling.'

The BMA said there is ‘no justification’ for the government’s decision to further increase pension contributions for doctors.

The DH announced on Thursday that NHS staff earning between £48,983 to £69,931 will now be asked to contribute an extra 2.4% to their pension in 2012/13 - 0.4% more than previously planned.

NHS staff earning £69,932 to £110,273 will also be asked to contribute 2.4% to their pension in 2013/13 - an increase of 0.1% more than under current proposals.

The announcement signifies a further increase to pension contributions for doctors, in addition to Lord Hutton’s proposals to increase public sector pension contributions from 8.5% of salary to 10.9% by 2012 and possibly to 14.5% by 2014.

The new proposal will mean that a member of NHS staff earning £69,900 will now pay around £1,680 more in 2012/13 than in 2011/12 towards their pension. Earlier government proposals, based on Lord Hutton's recommendations, would have meant an increase of £1,400 for someone at this level.

Reacting to the announcement, BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘The announcement of an even steeper hike will intensify the anger (doctors and medical students) are already feeling.

‘The NHS pension is already under a major attack, despite being overhauled only three years ago and delivering billions to the Treasury,’ he added.

Dr Meldrum said that government claims that they had come up with the increase after listening to NHS staff was ‘inconceivable’.

He said: ‘The government claims to want to reach a solution via dialogue. If that’s the case it’s ridiculous that it can announce a proposal like this without raising it in negotiations.

‘Doctors contribute up to 8.5% of their pay for their pensions - among the highest in the public sector. That figure could be as high as 14.5% by 2014.

'There is no justification for this, particularly when the final salary pension is to be replaced with a career average scheme’, Dr Meldrum added.

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