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Ministers to overhaul NHS pension rules to encourage doctors to keep working

New pension rules are aimed at encouraging doctors to continue working (Rui Vieira/PA)
New pension rules are aimed at encouraging doctors to continue working (Rui Vieira/PA)

The Government has set out plans to overhaul NHS pension rules in an attempt to retain more senior doctors in the service.

Launching an eight-week consultation, ministers said the proposed changes would also remove barriers to retired clinicians returning to work.

They include new “flexibilities” to allow retired and partially retired staff to return to work or increase their working hours without having payments to their pension reduced or suspended.

Officials said it would allow staff to claim a portion or all of their pension benefits but continue working and contributing to their pension.

Ministers hope that by encouraging more staff to carry on working, it will ease pressures on the NHS over the coming winter while retaining crucial knowledge and experience within the service.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “We need a system where our most experienced clinicians don’t feel they have to reduce their workload or take early retirement because of financial worries.

“I also want to make it easier for staff that want to return to work to support the NHS to be able to do so without penalties.

“These proposed changes will help open up extra appointments so patients can see their GP and consultants more quickly.”