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Pensions: Dentists called to take part in consultation

07 October 2020


We are asking dentists to take part in the NHS pension scheme consultation process. The BMA is sharing its platform with us, so you can contribute during this important phase of the government’s pension schemes consultation. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be heard.


Existing defined benefit pension schemes across the public sector closed in March 2015, and a replacement scheme was established from April 2015. Transitional provisions were put in place, which meant that older workers remained in their existing pension arrangements, whilst younger workers were forced into the new pension schemes, with higher retirement ages.


Following several legal cases brought against the government and following a judicial review the Court of Appeal said that this approach discriminated against members on the grounds of age in relation to changes to their pension.
The BDA, along with other unions, previously contacted the Department of Health and Social Care outlining the view that identical reforms in the NHS were discriminatory and in need of remedy. The Government conceded that it intends to seek a remedy for the difference in treatment across all schemes, including the NHS.

The Government has released a consultation proposing two options to remedy the discrimination. The start date of the remedy period will be 1 April 2015 and the end date will be the point at which the discriminatory provisions end 31 March 2022.

The likely solution to rectify this discrimination is to offer affected scheme members the choice of whether they are transitioned to the 2015 scheme or remain in their legacy scheme (1995/2008) for the remedy period. The choice will be:

1. Immediate choice, which means making the choice at the end of the remedy period (likely in 2022)
2. Deferred choice underpin (DCU), which is making the choice at the point of the retirement.

Our view is that ‘Deferred choice’ is the appropriate option.

With immediate choice, dentists would be making an irrevocable decision based on assumptions which would often be incorrect. Members would be required to make their decision immediately, based on assumptions of their career pathway, future retirement date and salary progression or earnings. This could result in people making the wrong choice and receiving a lower pension as a result.

Please make your voice heard in this process by responding to the consultation. To achieve the maximum impact, please add your own experiences of being impacted by the introduction of the 2015 public sector pension schemes. By taking part you will be sharing your details with the BMA and helping us to campaign for a better NHS pension scheme.