Government to pay annual allowance charges for clinicians for 2019/20

NHS England has confirmed that any clinician incurring an annual allowance charge in 2019/20 will have this paid for by the government.

In view of the impact that pension rules are having on senior NHS staff and their ability to work their normal hours, and with winter bringing the usual rise in demand for NHS services, NHS England and NHS Improvement have decided to take exceptional action. An extract from the announcement is given below:

‘This action will mean that:

  • Clinicians who are members of the NHS Pension Scheme and face a tax charge in respect of work undertaken this year (2019/20) as a result of breaching their annual pension allowance will be able to defer this charge (by choosing ‘Scheme Pays’ on their pension form) meaning that they don’t have to worry about paying the charge now out of their own pocket.


  • The NHS employer will make a contractually binding commitment to pay them a corresponding amount on retirement, ensuring that they are fully compensated in retirement for the effect of the 2019/20 Scheme Pays deduction on their income from the NHS Pension Scheme in retirement.

This scheme is being nationally funded at no net cost to trusts or CCGs.

Clinicians are therefore now immediately able to take on additional shifts or sessions without worrying about an annual allowance charge on their pension for 2019/20.

Local NHS employers are being asked to actively promote this development to affected staff as they plan for extra capacity and staffing over the winter period.’

This measure will only apply to the 2019/20 tax year as new flexibilities are being introduced from 2020/21

Links to the NHS England announcement and to FAQs for employers and staff are included.


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