The number of NHS employees in England and Wales claiming retirement benefits has reached a monthly high, according to data highlighting the difficult background to the government’s efforts to curb the rising patient population.
The data reveal that in April this year, 8,902 pension provisions were granted to health workers, compared to 6,932 in April last year, an increase of 28%. Previous record, based on NHS Data back to 2008 obtained through the Freedom of Information Request were 7,384 in April 2015.
Pension awards, which include those first paid at regular retirement age or for people retiring early, usually peak in April at the end of the fiscal year.
“While there are a number of reasons why someone should receive their pension benefits, the most common is that they retire,” said Graham Crossley, an NHS pension expert at Quilter, the independent financial advisor who filed the FOI application.
“We hear that health care workers are just exhausted, feel unappreciated and want to leave the NHS for a better quality of life,” he added.
Manifestations of the surge in demand for retirement benefits come as patients across the UK face peak waiting times for appointments and treatments. Staff shortages increased to 110,000 across the NHS by the end of 2021. More than a third of the unmanned jobs were for unregistered nurses, according to official data.
Meanwhile, the number of people awaiting surgery or other procedures in hospitals has risen to an all-time high of 6.4 million at the end of March this year, compared to about 4.4 million people in December 2019 before the epidemic.
In April, the health journal reported on a letter leaked from senior NHS executives to the CEO of Trust, warning that patients routinely wait more than 60 hours to be admitted to bed from an accident and emergency, leaving staff “crying with frustration and anger.”
In response, the British Medical Association, the largest medical association, warned on Monday that the situation could deteriorate significantly if the government does not do so in full. Address issues That pushed senior doctors and GPs to retire early to avoid huge tax bills for violating their annual pension savings allowance.
“It is very worrying that record numbers of employees retired this coming April, but unfortunately this is not surprising,” said Dr. Vishal Sharma, chairman of BMA’s advisory and pension committees.
“Despite incredible pressure, the Chancellor vehemently refuses to make the necessary changes to the pension taxation rules that leave thousands of our most experienced doctors a choice but to reduce their working hours or retire early.
“Unless the government takes urgent action, the team will continue to retire at a record number over the next 12 months.”
Caroline Waterfield, director of development and employment at NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation that represents organizations across the sector, said that “the NHS needs all the flexibility it can get to retain staff.” This includes reforms in pension benefits for all staff, not just the highest earners.
“It is critical that we have a system that has options for the entire NHS staff to be able to continue to allow themselves to be part of the pension plan and access the range of benefits that membership in the program provides,” she said.
The Ministry of Health stated: “The decision to claim the pension benefits is a personal choice and the NHS Business Services Authority is not requesting this information.
“The team may choose to claim benefits for a variety of reasons and this increase cannot be attributed to a single factor.”
NHS workers in England and Wales claiming pension soars to record high Source link NHS workers in England and Wales claiming pension soars to record high