§ Mr. Ovenden
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is aware that recent increases in fees payable to general practitioners have resulted in a reduction in pension entitlement for those involved in part-time work whilst in recent receipt of health service retirement pensions; and if she will take steps to amend the regulations to prevent such loss.
§ Dr. Owen
The arrangements for limiting the amount of pension payable to NHS pensioners who are re-employed in the NHS are designed to enable such pensioners to retain the benefit of pay awards in their re-employment. These arrangements can be applied without difficulty where the re-employment is on a regular salaried basis by simply disregarding any such pay increases. But in the case of pensioners who are re-employed on a fluctuating fee-paid basis—e.g. general practitioners—this method is not possible; special arrangements for these cases were, therefore, introduced in 1973 with the agreement of the BMA. A corrective factor to take account of pay increases, linked with increases under the Pensions (Increase) Act, is supplied each December. While this may result in some reduction of pension in the period up to December it is compensated for subsequently so that broadly, over a period, the intended result is achieved. No regulation amendment is thus necessary.