Pension attack could lead GPs to retire, GPC warns

If the government makes public sector pensions 'too unattractive' it could prompt a big cohort of doctors to retire, the GPC has warned.

Dr Holden: urged the government to not to make the pensions ‘too unattractive’
Dr Holden: urged the government to not to make the pensions ‘too unattractive’

Former work and pensions secretary Lord Hutton is carrying out a review of public sector pensions, after deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said many of the schemes were unfair and unsustainable.

But GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden urged the government to not to make the pensions ‘too unattractive’ as this could prompt a ‘heck of a lot’ of doctors to retire.

He said: ‘There is a big cohort of us who became GPs around 1980 when general practice first became a specialty in its own right. There is quite a retirement bulge in the system now.

‘The government has to be very careful because actually if they make it too unattractive the people in that retirement bulge will say: "We will take what we have got and go". That would cause great staffing difficulties.’

A DoH spokeswoman said: 'The government has accepted the recommendation in John Hutton's interim report that any reform should aim to ensure that pensions are sustainable and affordable, while being fair to the public service workforce. 

'All public sector workers will continue to be offered a defined benefit pension and the Government will work with the NHS unions to implement any changes to the NHS Pension Scheme.'

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