High Court rules GP pensions were unlawfully capped

GPs’ pensions were unlawfully capped by the government, the High Court ruled yesterday.

A judge upheld claims by the British Medical Association (BMA) that the cap had been unfairly imposed between 2004 and 2006.

A 50% increase over those three years was retrospectively capped to 48% over five years.

But Mr Justice Mitting ruled that the then health secretary Patricia Hewitt had no power to impose the limit, saying it was an attempt “to renegotiate an arrangement that had already been determined”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA council, said: “We are delighted that the BMA has been vindicated in its decision to challenge the government on retrospective capping of GPs’ pensions.”

Health secretary Alan Johnson was given permission to appeal.

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