In its response to a government consultation on increasing NHS pension contributions, the BMA urged the government to drop its 'unjust and misguided' plans to overhaul the scheme.
It warned that the proposals could drive up some doctors' pension contributions by 71% over the next three years. Following increases to contributions after pension reforms agreed in 2008, some doctors’ contributions to the NHS pensions scheme would have increased by 142% between 2008 and 2014, the BMA said.
The BMA also criticised the government for its refusal to enter into ‘meaningful negotiations’ with unions over its proposals.
It said: ‘The consultation document does not seek views on whether or not it is necessary for pension contributions to increase, simply how they should be increased.
‘The government has refused to enter into negotiations on this fundamental point and is allowing very little scope to negotiate its plans for changes to the NHS pension scheme.’
BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said increasing contribution rates after a ‘major overhaul’ of the scheme was agreed in 2008 was ‘unjust and misguided’.
He said: ‘We acknowledge the financial difficulties that the government is facing but it is totally unreasonable to expect NHS staff, who are already subject to pay freezes and potential redundancies, to take a further, substantial hit.
‘This arbitrary proposal from the government is simply an ill-concealed tax on those working in the NHS. While industrial action will always be a last resort it remains an option for the BMA to take.’