Tapered annual allowance review findings expected in Budget

Writes Hope William-Smith

The government’s review of the tapered annual allowance is underway with findings expected to be announced in the 11 March Budget.

The British Medical Association (BMA) confirmed the update on Thursday (9 January) and said it had received confirmation from Chancellor Sajid Javid on the progress of the issue.

This follows the Conservative party’s confirmation that it would hold reviews of the tapered annual allowance, announced in its manifesto ahead of its landslide victory in last month’s election.

The party said it would look to “address the ‘taper problem’ in doctors’ pensions” – an issue which has caused many senior doctors and clinicians within the NHS to reduce their working hours and turn down extra work or higher-paying shifts to avoid large tax bills.

The BMA said findings from the government’s review would be delivered in the Budget and added the only “long-term” solution for pensions would be the “removal of the annual allowance, including the taper, in defined benefit schemes”.

Earlier this week, members of the Society of Pension Professionals (SPP) unanimously identified the issue of tapered annual allowance as the government’s second-highest priority behind combatting pension scams.

SPP president Paul McGlone said the continued interest in the issue shows the tapered annual allowance is no longer “an issue that only affects fat cats”.