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BMA Scotland rejects pension reform

17 November 2011

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The British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland has branded the proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme as a “barely concealed tax” on health workers.

The Scottish Government has drawn criticism over its plans to mirror proposed public sector pension reforms in England.

While MPs have described further pension changes as “unwarranted and disruptive”, they claim they have no choice but to “fall in line with the rest of the UK” as the alternative is “unaffordable”.

Dr Brian Keighley, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said pension changes are “unacceptable” and the Scottish Government should take responsibility for its decisions.

“We believe that these plans are a barely concealed tax on the members of the NHS pension scheme, a levy on them to pay for an economic deficit to which they did not contribute or in any way cause,” said Dr Keighley.

The BMA claims many doctors have already seen their contributions increase by 42% following earlier changes to the NHS scheme, agreed between the health unions and the government in 2008.

Proposed plans would see contributions increase again by a further 71% over the next three years, it is suggested.

This could mean the contributions to the NHS Pension Scheme for some doctors would have increased by 142% in the six years since 2008.