Last reviewed 8 August 2019

The Government wants to change pension rules for top doctors, surgeons and other high-earning clinicians to allow them to take on extra shifts and treat more patients without losing out financially.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will shortly open a new consultation asking people what they think about the set of proposals, which includes giving senior clinicians full flexibility over the amount they put into their pension pots.

This replaces the 50:50 proposal put forward for consultation in July.

Starting from next financial year, the new rules would allow senior clinicians to set the exact level of pension accrual at the start of each year.

For example, 30% contributions for a 30% accrual rate, or any other percentage in 10% increments depending on their financial situation. This would give them room to take on additional work without breaching their annual allowance and facing tax charges.

Employers would then have the option to recycle their unused contribution back into the clinician’s salary.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “These comprehensive proposals will give doctors the pension flexibilities they have called for and need to make sure they are rewarded for extra work. We are taking immediate action and I hope these flexibilities will encourage our top NHS staff to fulfil the dedication of their mission: to care for their fellow citizens in time of need”.

Alongside the proposals for full flexibility, the Treasury will review how the tapered annual allowance supports the delivery of public services such as the NHS. It will continue to engage with the NHS, the British Medical Association (BMA) and other interested parties as part of this process.