Recent news reports have suggested that a potential short term solution to the current pensions crisis would be to take money out of doctors’ pension pots to pay the tax bills in 2019/20. It is suggested that the NHS would then top up their pensions before retirement, spreading the cost of this measure out over time.
The Doctors Association are disappointed by this latest announcement. This is not a new issue, and the government could have solved it many months ago by reversing the damaging changes made to the pension annual allowance and taper.
This latest announcement – at best a stop gap – smacks of an electioneering gambit to deflect criticism of the Conservative Party, who are solely responsible for this crisis. Given this government’s history on pensions reform, and its leader’s perceived casual relationship with the truth, we cannot recommend to members and colleagues that they deplete their pension pots on a hurried promise they’ll be topped up one day in the future. In light of this we expect that doctors will continue to take steps to reduce their commitments where necessary to avoid punitive tax bills.