GPs to win back £35,000 in missed pension payouts

Retired GPs to receive pension top-ups by early 2009.

Retired GPs could receive payouts of more than £35,000, to make up for the money snatched from them when the DoH capped their pensions, the GPC has revealed.

Updated dynamisation factors for 2003/4 to 2005/6 mean that GPs who retired up to 2006 will receive a 20 per cent increase in their pensions, as well as a cash payout to make up for money they missed out on over the past two years.

The figures will also mean a 4 per cent increase in the pension entitlements of younger GPs.

Under the original GMS deal, pensions dynamisation was worth around 52 per cent over the first three years of the contract, from 2003/4 to 2005/6.

But the DoH sought to impose a deal that would spread 48 per cent dynamisation over five years, from 2003/4 to 2007/8.

This meant that GPs who retired after the third year of the GMS contract stood to have pensions uprated by just 29.5 per cent, instead of the full 52 per cent they were due.

The government was forced to reinstate the full dynamisation after the High Court ruled it had no power to retrospectively impose the cap.

Andy Blake, head of the BMA's pensions department, said that the greatest beneficiaries of the ruling will be those that retired up to March 2006 in the expectation that dynamisation would be higher.

As well as a 20 per cent increase in their annual pension, they can expect a one-off payment of around 110 per cent of their annual pension plus interest. This is to cover backdated pay and money that should have been included in the lump sum they received on retirement.

A GP with a £33,000 pension can thus expect a £6,600 rise in his or her annual income, and a one-off payment of more than £37,000.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said top-ups would be paid into pensions 'by the first quarter of 2009'.

He added that it was in the DoH's interest to settle the matter quickly, pointing out that: 'The longer the government leaves it, the more interest it owes.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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