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