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Pension reforms ‘unfair’ says British Medical Association

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called the government’s planned reform of public sector pension schemes “fundamentally unfair”, arguing that NHS staff will be hardest hit by the changes.

In an in-depth briefing on the impact of the government’s proposals, the BMA calls for an amendment to be made to the Public Service Pensions Bill so that NHS staff won’t be required to work beyond the age of 65 to receive a full pension.

The Bill, which is due to have its second reading on 22 October, would bring all public sector pension schemes under the same legislative framework.

It would also see an end to final salary pension schemes for the majority of public sector workers, while also linking the Normal Pension Age to the State Pension Age, which is set to rise to 68.

In June the BMA took industrial action in protest against the reforms, arguing that they would leave doctors paying out more for their pensions compared to other public sector workers on similar wages.

“The government is due to achieve a total of £430 billion of savings over the next 50 years, directly from the impact on public sector workers’ pensions. To a large degree public service employees are being penalised for an economic crisis not of their making,” said Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA Council.

“But beyond this fundamental unfairness, the changes will also embed unjustifiable discrepancies between and within different public sector schemes. How can it be right that someone working for the NHS pays twice as much for their pension as a civil servant on the same salary?”

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