NHS: Tax Allowances

Treasury written question – answered on 9th December 2022.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Scottish National Party, Glasgow North

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of creating a tax-unregistered pension scheme for consultants on the retention of experienced consultants in the NHS.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government values the extraordinary work being done by NHS staff. In recognition of this vital work, the NHS Pension Scheme is one of the most generous schemes available. In addition, the existing tax relief offered on pension contributions is expensive, costing the Exchequer £67.3 billion in 2020/21, with around 58 per cent relieved at the Higher and Additional rates. A tax unregistered scheme would primarily benefit NHS staff affected by the annual and lifetime allowances, who are the highest-earning savers in the NHS pension scheme.

The Government has listened carefully to the concerns of NHS staff and is committed to ensuring that hard-working NHS staff do not find themselves reducing their work commitments due to the interaction between their pay, their pension and the relevant tax regime. That is why, on 22 September the Government announced changes to the NHS Pension Scheme. These include changing pension rules regarding inflation, encouraging NHS Trusts to offer pension recycling and implementing permanent retirement flexibilities to support workforce retention. The Government continues to keep all areas of the tax system under review.

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