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The BMA have passed a resolution opposing changes to doctors’ pensions. The BMA is to ballot for industrial action if necessary. It has been calculated that doctors would be better off using a private pension scheme than the proposed changes.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

BMA Calls For Talks With Government As Doctors Attack Myth Of “Gold-Plated” Pensions, UK

The BMA today repeated its call for talks with the government on pensions, as new figures show that many junior doctors could be better off investing in a private pension than joining the reformed NHS scheme. The call for dialogue comes as doctors and medical students attending the BMA’s annual conference in Cardiff passed a motion calling for a possible ballot of BMA membership on industrial action.*

Initial figures from illustrative modelling commissioned by the BMA* show that the potential pension a doctor embarking on a career as a GP could expect to build up in the NHS scheme – assuming it undergoes key reforms proposed by the government – could be lower than the pension built up by investing in a personal scheme (in which there are no employer contributions.)


The new figures are illustrative examples only, based on initial information from the government on possible future changes to pensions benefits. Any doctor considering decisions on their pensions is advised to contact the BMA Pensions Department or an independent financial adviser.

The wording of the motion debated at the BMA Annual Representative Meeting today was as follows:

That this Meeting:-

i) believes that increasing the normal pension age for NHS staff will not be in the interest of the NHS; carried

ii) believes a final salary pension scheme for hospital doctors should be the favoured affordable option for the NHS as it provides a major incentive for recruitment and retention of high calibre NHS hospital doctors; carried

iii) believes that a CARE NHS pension system will give hospital doctors a significantly worse pension on retirement due to their pay structure increasing right to the end of their careers; carried

iv) believes that a revised CARE scheme for GPs will be unacceptable and may result in up to a third of GPs retiring prematurely; carried as a reference

v) believes that tiered pension contributions are unacceptable in a CARE scheme for doctors; carried as reference

vi) calls on the BMA, in the event that there is a government plan to halt the final salary pension scheme and replace it with an unfavourable career average (CARE) scheme for doctors, to ballot the BMA membership regarding all forms of industrial action; carried

British Medical Association

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