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19th November 2019

NHS to pay doctors' pension tax

Bid to end workforce crisis ahead of winter

The NHS could be set to pay doctors' pension tax bills in a move the BMA says could ease pressure on the health service ahead of a winter predicted to be its worse on record. Doctors' leaders and accountants have been warning for months that the government's failure to address the impact of tax penalties on pension contributions on the NHS workforce would severely undermine capacity - and the BMA believes the health service is now heading for its most difficult winter ever. A damning report published earlier this month showed that NHS organisations across the UK were struggling to maintain services as doctors across multiple specialities reduced working hours or refused extra shifts to avoid heavy tax penalties.

Reports emerged yesterday (19.11.19) that NHS England was set to tell doctors that their tax bills would be covered by the NHS. The BBC reported that doctors would be 'able to take money out of their pension pots to pay the tax bills they get next year.' We will report back on this story with further updates as they arise.

Discussions are still underway with NHSE/I as part of contract negotiations around additional actions which can be agreed to reduce the impact of the pensions taxation, and around the operation of the employers contribution, which is currently paid centrally, from April 2020 onwards.

We would caution that if you are affected by this story, please also seek professional advice from your financial advisor and / or accountant.