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Press comment: Gov need to pay urgent attention to NHS pension proposals


Today’s report from Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation and the King’s Fund sets out urgent measures needed to prevent a workforce crisis for the NHS. These recommendations include tackling pension policy. If you’re covering this issue please see the following comment from Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter:

Jon Greer“Warnings about the sustainability of the NHS are coming from all sides about a range of issues, but these are not solely linked to funding. There are also concerns about the ability of the health service to recruit and retain staff, and a leading think tank has said the situation has got so bad that it’s a ‘make or break’ issue. The suite of problems, which has put the NHS under severe pressure, includes pension policy and figures show that the proportion of GPs who have taken voluntary early retirement has doubled from 33% to 62% since 2011/12.

“Pension taxation is never popular, but this is not about politicians winning over older voters, it is about the risk of damaging a critical UK institution – the one that ensures the health and wellbeing of the nation. If that is not enough to promote change, then nothing will be.

“There were previously noises that the solution will need to be a carve out from pension taxation rules, thankfully, this report makes no such suggestions.  The think tank’s trio of recommendations include a 50:50 option where members pay half the contribution rate in return for half the benefit, the choice to opt in to the life assurance element of the scheme and a pensionable pay cap. These are sensible ideas that need careful consideration and evaluation, although simplification of the tax system could help address many of these issues without the NHS having to adapt its own policies.

“The NHS makes up a massive proportion of the workforce, as ONS figures early this week revealed a record 1.67 million people were working for the NHS in December - 32,000 more than a year earlier. Dismissing pension issues for this group, could be enough to dictate voters party allegiances. So policymakers and HM Treasury are avoiding the issue at their peril.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990
Michael Glenister020 7778 963807469

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 £118.4 billion in investments (as at 30 June 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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