Letter: The other side of doctors’ pensions
DR LEWIS Morrison, chairman of the BMA Scottish Consultants Committee, defends their decision to take “industrial action” on pensions but omits relevant facts (Letters, 10 June).
The NHS Pension Scheme includes GPs. They are not NHS employees but independent private firms, whose inclusion in the NHS Scheme is an anomalous privilege which many feel should never have been granted anyway.
He ignores the pay increases given under Labour, particularly to GPs, with UK doctors now paid more than in France, Netherlands or Germany and higher than anywhere world-wide except the USA.
The 2008 reforms, despite now giving positive cashflows of £2 billion pa, maintained their “Ponzi” nature, with current contributions paying current pensions, rather than building a true pension fund from which to pay future liabilities. Such cashflows are by no means “affordable and sustainable” for 43 years of new doctors’ careers or the next 70 years of their lifetimes. He says the scheme “includes a higher than normal pension age for new entrants”. The age will be the same as the state retirement age.
There are generous transitional arrangements for existing members, while new entrants aged 25 retiring at 68 will have an index-linked pension of 43/54ths of their career-average revalued earnings. With many staff, especially GPs, reaching high income levels early on in their careers, such pension levels are infinitely higher than private industry or the country can afford.
The sole valid complaint the BMA may have is in their higher contributions for the same pensions as civil servants on the same pay. That, however, is typical of our incompetent politicians, who lost the moral authority to demand reductions in others by keeping their own platinum-plated scheme, and botched the long overdue real reform of all pension schemes, public and private. It does not justify the BMA’s selfish and myopic attitude.
John Birkett, St Andrews
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East