Written by Graham Crossley, NHS pensions expert at Quilter
It is pleasing to see the government consult on tackling the ongoing issue of abatement, which allows recently retired NHS staff to return to work without suffering a penalty on their pension.
However, the proposal to extend the suspension of the abatement rules to 31 March 2023 does not go far enough.
Another short-term extension only leads to worry and uncertainty for NHS staff. Government needs to see sense and permanently end the abatement rules which will lead to more staff being retained within the NHS, more income tax receipts for government, and might even encourage other staff to return from retirement to help tackle the backlog.
Figures obtained by Quilter through a Freedom of Information request in February 2022 revealed that over 7,470 doctors and nurses could be at risk of a financial penalty on their pension once the Coronavirus Act powers expire and could therefore leave the health service as a result.
The NHS is facing a number of headwinds, but they are compounded by issues surrounding NHS pensions. This results in healthcare workers suffering penalties on their pensions or not being given adequate time to file complicated pension tax paperwork when they have other things front of mind like helping the health service to get back on its feet.