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Pension rules to deepen NHS crisis

8th October 2019

Pension tax rules could put additional strain on NHS emergency departments over the winter, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has warned.

In a survey by the RCEM, nearly 90% of emergency medicine consultants said the rules around the tapered annual allowance for high earners will impact on rota gaps at a senior level.

More than three quarters said they were thinking about cutting down their own clinical commitments.

Dr Simon Walsh, emergency care lead at the British Medical Association, said:

"This survey once again lays bare the disastrous impact these absurd pension regulations are having on the NHS workforce and on the care of many thousands of patients.

"The NHS now has year-round pressures, but with the winter months fast approaching, these punitive pension rules risk plunging the entire system into an even deeper crisis at a time when services are already stretched to their limits."

The annual allowance, which is the amount of tax-free contributions a high earner can put into a pension, stands at £40,000 in 2019/20.

However, high earners may be affected by the tapered annual allowance, which applies to people with a taxable adjusted income of more than £150,000 a year and a threshold income over £110,000.

For every £2 of income an individual earns over £150,000, their annual allowance is reduced by £1, down to £10,000.

The Treasury announced in September 2019 that it would review the way the taper works, and how it affects public services.

Talk to us about the tapered annual allowance.

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