Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to find a permanent solution to fix the issue of the tapered allowance impacting NHS doctors.
In a letter, published today, Ms Freeman urged Sajid Javid to “take decisive action” to ensure pension and taxation rules stop having negative outcomes for senior clinicians across Scotland and other areas of the UK and for a solution to be found before April.
The tapered allowance, which gradually reduces the annual allowance for those on high incomes, is causing doctors across the NHS to stop contributing to their pensions, cut their hours or retire early to avoid significant tax bills.
The Scottish government introduced a temporary opt-in policy from December whereby NHS staff have the option to get their employer pension contributions paid as part of their basic pay.
Doctors in England were promised the government would cover their tax bills for the 2019/20 financial year.
But this interim measure is due to stop on March 31, and no permanent solution has been found.
In the letter Ms Freeman called on the Chancellor to find a lasting solution or the Scottish government would continue to find its own solutions.
She urged Mr Javid to use the budget on March 11 to offer a solution.
The tapered allowance, introduced in 2016, means that for every £2 of adjusted income above £150,000 a year, £1 of annual allowance will be lost.
This adjusted income is calculated by adding the threshold income to the value of pension savings. The taper applies to individuals who have a threshold income – the gross income minus any tax relievable contributions such as pension contributions – above £110,000.
Last month (January 16), it was reported HM Treasury official were considering raising the tapered annual allowance threshold income from the current £110,000 to £150,000.
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