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Potential for more time for patients thanks to flexible pension proposal

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The proposals would see nurses keep more of their The proposals would see nurses keep more of their salary

One-third of nurses, consultants and GPs turn down extra shifts due to the current NHS Pension Scheme and pension tax rules according to an estimate by the Department of Health and Social Care.

To tackle this, the Government has announced new proposals that should allow senior doctors, nurses and GPs to dedicate more time to their patients without worrying about how it may affect their pension and pension taxes. These proposals will allow clinicians to control their individual pension pot to maximise their savings without incurring pension tax bills as a result of breaking the limit on tax relief.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Our new plan means every senior clinician will be able to carry out life-saving work for patients safe in the knowledge they have more control over their pension, their future and their retirement’.

The proposals are a number of amendments to the NHS Pension Scheme rules. One would allow clinicians to choose an individual pension growth level at the beginning of the tax year at a percentage of the normal scheme contribution. Another would give senior clinicians an option to alter pension growth at the end of the tax year to reach the maximum amount, without arriving at the tapered annual allowance limit. A full explanation of the proposals is available on the website for the Department of Health and Social Care.

‘We support the introduction of greater flexibilities to allow members of the NHS Pension Scheme to better control the value of their pension growth and we believe this will have a positive impact on NHS service capacity and patient care,’ said Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers.

‘These new proposals helpfully acknowledge that more scheme flexibilities are needed, over and above the previously proposed 50:50 section, to help senior clinicians to manage their pension growth within the pension tax allowances.’

The Government is calling for consultation on the new proposals which can be given online by visiting the website for the Department of Health and Social Care, or by email or post. The consultation closes on the 1st of November 2019.

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