A growing number of family doctors are reducing the hours they work in order to avoid a huge pension tax bill, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by Everydoctor, suggests that this had led to some surgeries having fewer appointments to offer patients, with doctors dropping shifts because of the impact of the tax.
The group’s findings are echoed by the British Medical Association (BMA), which found that almost half of GPs have already cut their hours to avoid extra pension charges, with 34 per cent of those polled intending to do so in the future.
Meanwhile, nine out of 10 doctors claim that the erosion of the medical workforce through punitive pension taxes will have a ‘significant impact’ on the NHS, potentially leading to the collapse of services.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier this year that GPs would be allowed to cut their pension contributions by half, thereby avoiding tax charges, but GP leaders have warned that this solution does not go far enough.
Under the current NHS pension scheme, the highest-earning GPs pay at least 14.5 per cent in contributions. However, an annual allowance worth £40,000 limits the amount of money that can go into the pension pot each year without facing significant tax penalties.
The BMA has warned the Government repeatedly that several hundred thousand hours of patient time could be lost through GPs cutting their shifts. The body is now urging Government to scrap the annual allowances and tapered annual allowances.
Rob Cadwallader, General Practice Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “The GPs pension tax has been a significant issue for some time. The impact of this is being increasingly felt in the NHS, and a solution must be found.
“For advice on matters relating to the Healthcare sector, contact our expert team today.”