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​Dentists undertaking NHS work must have flexibility on pensions tax, says BDA

5 November 2019

The BDA has responded to a Government consultation on pensions tax making the case that all dentists undertaking NHS work should be able to access pensions flexibilities so that they do not face disincentives to treat more patients.

In September 2019, the DHSC launched a consultation on three planned key new flexibilities for senior clinicians on taxes on pensions. If implemented, such staff would be able to choose at the start of the tax year how much their pension pot should grow by and adjust their contributions accordingly. However, we've made the case that restricting access to certain groups is discriminatory.

At present, the NHS Pension Schemes offer members a range of options to build up more pension than the standard amount, but no facility to build up a lower NHS Pension; other than for people who decide to periodically opt-in and out of pension saving.

We surveyed our members for their views and we have provided a comprehensive response to the DHSC, arguing that flexibilities should be available to all dentists, and all NHS Pension Scheme members.

Your responses showed that the current pensions tax system is clearly having a detrimental impact on your ability to provide NHS dentistry. We are concerned about the level of pensions opt-outs from the NHS Pension Scheme, particularly amongst younger dentists.

We are also concerned about levels of recruitment and retention in NHS dentistry – we feel the long-term sustainability of the service is in jeopardy, and pensions taxes that penalise those who are trying to provide more NHS dentistry for patients is adding to this problem.

This consultation applies to England and Wales, although BDA continues to make the case for the whole of the UK as well.

Read our FAQs for more information about the Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowances, opting-out of the NHS Pensions Scheme, what happens if you are planning on retiring soon, potential changes to the tax system and the NHS Pension Schemes, and other useful information.

Working for you

We will continue to campaign for a fairer deal on pensions tax for dentists. If you'd like to be kept up to date with our progress:

Through our policy and campaigning work, we ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level.

With each new member, our voice and our influence grows. Add your voice, join today.