Health Secretary Matt Hancock pleads with doctors not to retire early over the ...

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pleading with doctors not to retire early because of the NHS pension crisis.

Many medics are trying to avoid big tax bills from stricter pension rules that put a cap on their saving allowances. 

Mr Hancock has reassured big earners within the health service that changes to the lifetime allowance will be 'fixed' before April.

In the meantime, he is asking the consultants and managers to 'take no precipitate action in terms of early retirement'. 

This comes just a week after health leaders warned operations are being cancelled and cancer scans left unread because doctors refuse to take on more work to protect their pensions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pleading with doctors not to retire early over the NHS pension crisis. He is pictured arriving for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in June

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pleading with doctors not to retire early over the NHS pension crisis. He is pictured arriving for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in June

'For people who are affected by the lifetime allowance, I would strongly recommend they take no precipitate action in terms of early retirement, because we are going to fix this problem,' Mr Hancock said.

'And for people affected by the annual allowance, I understand the problem.

'But we need to make sure we find solutions urgently so people can do the work they want to do and the NHS needs them to do,' The BMJ reported. 

Mr Hancock has vowed to consult with NHS officials and the treasury to fix the 'very serious' pension problem by the start of the next financial year, which is April 6.

On June 3 this year, the Government proposed the so-called 50/50 scheme as a solution. 

This will allow senior doctors to put less into their pension for up to a decade to reduce their risk of the pot hitting the £1.1milion ($1.3m) lifetime limit. 

The NHS' existing pension scheme does not allow staff to choose the rate their pot builds and the highest-earning consultants have contribute 14.5 per cent of their pensionable pay a month.

MORE THAN HALF OF GPS PLAN TO QUIT THE NHS BEFORE RETIREMENT AGE 

More than half of GPs plan to quit the NHS before retirement age, a survey has revealed.

Out of the 940 GPs surveyed by Pulse, 498 (53 per cent) claimed they are planning to retire early due to issues with their pension, 'unsustainable' workloads and burnout.

Some doctors said they would ideally retire early but cannot afford it. 

One GP said: 'I cannot envisage being able to work until I am 69 in this job, it's unsustainable. 

'Why else are so many younger GPs choosing portfolio careers as a way to avoid burnout?'

A locum GP added changes are making the payments to her pension pot 'affordable'. 

The British Medical Association said the results are unsurprising and show the 'challenging circumstances' GPs face.

However, support for the 50/50 plan wavered after NHS trusts announced last week staff are refusing to work extra hours due to the financial penalties of paid overtime. 

Mr Hancock acknowledged more action is needed besides the 50/50 proposal at a Commons Health and Social Care Committee meeting on Tuesday.

'The BMA [British Medical Association] make a case the [50/50 scheme] doesn't solve all of the problems - I've heard that case,' he said. 

Mr Hancock added the Government will shortly be publishing a consultation paper with open questions on how to resolve the problem by next year. 

Full-time doctors are typically contracted to work 10 shifts, each lasting four to five hours, a week. 

However, consultants usually go above and beyond this by doing 11 or 12 shifts to keep up with demand. 

The trade association NHS

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