NHS: Pensions

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th August 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Altmann Baroness Altmann Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to compensate senior NHS staff who have inadvertently exceeded the tapered annual pensions allowance.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

For the majority of people, their pension contributions are tax-free. This makes pensions tax relief one of the most expensive reliefs in the personal tax system. The reforms to the lifetime and annual allowance made in the previous two parliaments are expected to save over £6 billion per year and are necessary to deliver a fair system and protect public finances. Less than 1% of pension savers will have to reduce their saving or face an annual allowance charge as a result of the tapered annual allowance.

While there are no plans to compensate senior National Health Service staff who exceed their tax-free pension savings allowances, the Scheme Pays facility is there to assist NHS Pension Scheme members who breach the annual allowance, and allows them to settle their lifetime and annual allowance charges without making an upfront payment. The Scheme Pays facility was recently extended to cover tax charges of any amount and those arising from the tapered annual allowance.

The Government has launched a full public consultation setting out proposals to make the NHS Pension Scheme more flexible for clinicians, to give them more control over their pension growth and tax liabilities.

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