A law firm is inviting doctors to join it in lodging claims against the government in relation to NHS pension changes.
The firm, Leigh Day, already successfully challenged the changes made to judges’ pensions and is also representing about 15,000 police officers bringing similar challenges. Leigh Day has now set up a website where doctors who were obliged to transfer to the new scheme can register to take their cases to an employment tribunal.
At present it is looking for NHS hospital doctors who are employed by an NHS Trust in England or Wales, and who were:
- members of the 1995 NHS England and Wales Pension Scheme as at 1 April 2012 and were born on or after 2 July 1963; or
- members of the 2008 NHS England and Wales Pension Scheme as at 1 April 2012 and born on or after 2 July 1958.
The call does not apply to NHS hospital doctors who stopped working more than two months ago; those who are part of either the NHS Scotland’s Pension Scheme or the HSC Northern Ireland Pension Scheme; were not a member of either the 1995 or 2008 England and Wales NHS Pension Scheme as at 1 April 2012; or have voluntarily opted out of the England and Wales NHS Pension Scheme at any point since 31 March 2012. At this time, Leigh Day has not opened the action to general practitioners or doctors on a career break.
The company says the government has infringed on the rights of public sector workers by unlawfully discriminating in relation to their pensions. It estimates that doctors would need to invest around £20,000 extra per year on average during their working lives to make up for the pension they lose because of the changes.