GP contributions to rise under NHS pension offer

Most GPs will be forced to pay several hundred pounds per year on top of the four-figure pension hike they already faced in 2012/13 after the government revised its plans for changes to NHS pensions.

Mr Lansley: ‘We are continuing to discuss wider changes to pensions with trades unions and hope to reach an agreement by the end of the year.'

A fresh proposal from the DH 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 would have meant an increase of £1,400 for someone at this level.

Under the proposals, NHS staff earning up to £26,557 will be spared any increase in pension contributions next year. This threshold was previously set at £15,000.

But to compensate for the change, higher earning NHS staff will now be forced to make higher contributions to their pensions than previously expected.

NHS staff earning between £48,983 to £69,931, likely to include many part-time GPs, will be hardest hit by changes in the revised pensions offer. This group will now face a 2.4% increase in pension contributions 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% more to pensions in 2013/13 - an increase of 0.1% compared with the previous proposal.

Staff earning between £26,558 and £48,982 will see contributions rise by 1.5%, up 0.3% from the previous pensions offer. Planned increases for the highest earners - those earning more than £110,273 - are unchanged at 2.4%.

Read more from our Pensions Toolkit

It comes as the BMA launches a ‘Your pension. Your future’ campaign with the aim of ensuring doctors and medical students have their say on the future of the NHS pension scheme.

The BMA said at the conclusion of pension negotiations the BMA will seek members’ views on the offer and if not, what action they would be prepared to take. The BMA said a formal ballot on industrial action could ‘follow quickly’.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘Ensuring doctors and medical students are able to have their say on their pensions is an urgent priority. They will have implications for all doctors and medical students for many years to come.’

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes will not be enough to ensure that NHS pensions are affordable in the long term.

He said: ‘We are continuing to discuss wider changes to pensions with trades unions and hope to reach an agreement by the end of the year.

‘But we are clear that people will also keep whatever they have already earned. We will honour in full benefits earned through years of service – which means little, if any, change for those close to retirement.’

But Unite warned that the government’s deal is an attempt to ‘mislead the workforce and the public about the true impact of its proposals’.
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: ‘These are tawdry ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics designed to set one set of dedicated hard-working NHS workers against another.’
‘In its haste to sell this as good news, government is also failing to state what it plans for years two and three. It will press on as before, so this is a swindle and a short-lived one at that.’

The new breakdown of pension contributions
Wage old figure new figure rise
Up to £15,000 5% 5% 0
£15,001 to £21,175 5% 5% 0
£21,176 to £26,557 6.5% 6.5% 0
£26,558 to £48,982 6.5% 8% 1.5
£48,983 to £69,931 6.5% 8.9% 2.4
£69,932 to £110,273 7.5% 9.9% 2.4
Over £110,273 8.5% 10.9% 2.4

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