Senior doctors will have more flexible pensions under new plans launched by the government. The government argues high-earning clinicians would be able to take better advantage of pension provision and working patterns by building their NHS pension more gradually over time. This would be done by making steadier contributions towards their pension, without facing regular, significant tax charges. This would result in those clinicians being able to freely take on additional shifts, fill rota gaps and take on further supervisory responsibilities.

The new proposal is known as a 50:50 plan and would allow clinicians to halve their pension contributions in exchange for halving the rate of pension growth.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Each and every senior consultant, nurse or GP is crucial to the future of our NHS, yet we are losing too many of our most experienced people early because of frustrations over pensions. We have listened to the concerns of hardworking staff across the country and are determined to find a solution that better supports our senior clinicians so we can continue to attract and keep the best people.”

This new proposal comes after senior doctors have said that tax charges are discouraging them from taking on extra work as well as causing them to question whether the NHS pension scheme is right for them.

The government stated that the new flexible pensions would be available to ‘senior clinicians who can demonstrate they expect to face an annual allowance charge’. This covers doctors who have built up more than £40,000 of benefit in their NHS pension in a year and those who have an adjusted income of over £150,000, which includes pension growth.

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