“It is very hard to see how this situation can be resolved quickly and easily. The truth is that pension legislation should never have been allowed to become so complex that it has put crucial public services under staffing pressures. We are now seeing government legislating after the event for a problem that is harming healthcare services today. It seems very unlikely that this issue will be resolved swiftly and we expect to see months of consultation on the matter.
“The annual allowance taper is far too complex and that is why we have seen it backfire so badly. The disastrous unintended consequences of the policy are the product of legislation designed without a full appreciation for the practical consequences of its application.
“So while this consultation is welcome recognition that there is a problem, it really should be a job for the Treasury to revise its pension tax policy, rather than the Department of Health and Social Care to adapt around the annual allowance taper.”
*Interim NHS People Plan: ‘…During discussions to develop the interim People Plan we heard concerns from senior clinical staff that their current pensions taxation arrangements were discouraging them from doing extra work for patients and causing them to think hard about remaining in the NHS Pension Scheme or continuing to work in the NHS. The government is listening to these concerns and will bring forward a consultation on a new pension flexibility for senior clinicians. The proposal would give senior clinicians the option to halve the rate at which their NHS pension grows in exchange for halving their contributions to the scheme. We will work with the government to seek changes that encourage individuals to stay within the NHS and ensure the right incentives are in place for them to maximise their contribution to patient care…’