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Press Comment: Hancock in discussions with Treasury about changing GP pension tax rules


If you are covering the news that Matt Hancock is in discussions with the Treasury about changing GP pension tax rules please see the following comment from Ian Browne, pensions expert at Quilter:

Ian Browne"The health secretary Matt Hancock revealed yesterday that he is in discussions with the Treasury about the growing anger surrounding GP pension tax rules, which are impacting not just this group’s retirement funds, but is also having an impact on recruitment for the sector.

"The lifetime allowance for pensions tax relief was cut from £1.25m to £1m in 2016 which essentially means that may GPs see no benefit in continuing to pay into their pension fund and instead leave the profession early before their normal pension age. This has led to a drastic and increasing number of opt outs. For NHS staff the figures show that there has been a 78% increase from 2015 to 2016 and a quarter of a million opted out between 2015 and 2017.

"From a policy perspective its likely Matt Hancock’s discussions will fall on deaf ears in the treasury as they understandably won’t want to carve out a whole set of  separate rules for the taxation of doctor’s pensions as you can be sure that other professions with vested interests will want the same treatment and it sets a dangerous percent. Differing pension rules for different professions is at best unfair and serves to complicate an already incredibly complex system.

"Similarly, if the treasury decided they would change lifetime allowance rules for all going forward then you are still left with a group of people who have suffered with the consequence of these rules for a period of time and will likely want recompense. Funding that would hit government coiffures hard.  

"Triage is an essential part of how a hospital works and with Brexit right around the corner Government will be using a similar strategy to decide what policy changes have to be done right away. So even if they did want to make sweeping changes to the Lifetime Allowance they will be unable to get anything thorough parliament meaning no changes to primary legislation will be on the cards any time soon.

"Doctors and others who think they might breach the lifetime allowance will benefit from getting financial advice and consider alternative ways of funding a pension for their retirement planning"


For more information contact

Alex Berry023 8072 626007741

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £114.9 billion in investments (as at 31 March 2019).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Charles Derby Group (becoming Quilter Financial Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
  • Old Mutual International (becoming Quilter International in 2020)

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