Pensions workaround is best short term response available but falls short of a full and fair solution for all NHS staff
22 November 2019
- NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has confirmed a temporary solution to the pensions tax impact on the health service.
- He said it would "ensure that clinicians who exceed their NHS pension annual allowance in this financial year are not left out of pocket".
- The temporary scheme will apply to doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and other clinicians who are members of the NHS pension scheme - but not non-clinicians.
Responding to the new proposed temporary 2019/20 workaround for current NHS pensions issues announced today, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:
“The current NHS pensions crisis means key staff are penalised for carrying out much needed work, eroding staff goodwill and adding to delays and disruption for patients.
“Today’s announcement is welcome recognition of how urgent and significant these problems have become, as reflected in current NHS performance pressures. This is the best short term response available and let’s hope that it will help buy some time to keep services running as we head into the busy winter period. That will depend on whether affected staff are persuaded to work the required extra hours as a result of this approach; previous workarounds have had significantly lower take up than expected.
This is the best short term response available and let’s hope that it will help buy some time to keep services running as we head into the busy winter period.Chief Executive
“However this approach is only a very temporary, short term, fix. It falls well short of the full and fair solution addressing pensions issues for all NHS staff that is needed. It is frustrating that managers are once again excluded, despite many being affected by the same annual allowance tax charges as senior clinical staff. We also know that trusts are concerned about the NHS adopting solutions that only benefit the most highly paid when other groups of staff, including the lowest paid, are also seeking help with their pensions issues. Trust leaders are clear that their responsibility is to look after the needs of all their staff.”