The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has opened a consultation, 'NHS Pension Scheme: proposed amendments to continue the suspension of restrictions on return to work'. It seeks views on extending the suspension of tax charges on pension income.

As part of the government's response to COVID-19, rules in the NHS Pension Scheme were suspended from March 2020 to allow retired and partially retired staff to return to work or increase their working commitments without having their pension benefits suspended or abated.

The new consultation recommends extending the suspension to 31 March 2023. It is due to run out 31 October 2022. The DHSC said that the need for "NHS staff who contract COVID-19 to isolate and miss work means that staff sickness absence rates are currently higher than pre-pandemic levels. This has a negative impact on NHS capacity at a time when demand for services is high".

The DHSC advocates for the abatement of pension benefits for Special Class Status (SCS) members in receipt of an unreduced pension who return to work between the age of 55 and 60 should continue. It added that there are no plans for it to be permanently removed.

Useful guides on this topic

Pensions: Tax rules and planning
What tax rules apply to pensions? What tax relief is available? What tax charges can arise? What planning opportunities are there?

COVID 19: Pension tax changes for retired public sector staff returning to work
As part of their response to COVID-19, the government temporarily suspended significant tax charges on pension income for recently retired public sector workers aged between 50 and 55 who returned to work to assist in providing critical public services.

NHS Pensions: Scheme pays elections
What is an NHS scheme pays election? What is the deadline? What if complete information is not available by the election deadline? Can elections be amended?

NHS pensions emergency: fact or fiction?
Doctors may have done other high-earning UK taxpayers a favour by pushing the issue of the Annual Allowance Taper up the political agenda. What are the issues? Are doctors really being treated badly?

External links

Department of Health and Social Care Consultation: NHS Pension Scheme: proposed amendments to continue the suspension of restrictions on return to work

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