58% of GPs plan to leave General Practice before their normal retirement age

In a recent survey led by Mazars, we found that 58% of respondents said they plan to retire early. So, what are the reasons for this?

Unsustainable demand, burnout, pension taxation charges – all of these factors are leading to many GPs considering leaving general practice early, at a time when patient demand is higher than ever.

Currently, the demand on practices is high. 20% of our survey respondents stated they were at risk of burnout and 40% felt they were overloaded with work. Although 15% thought demand was manageable, they still believed it wasn’t in the long term. This equates to 75% believe that in the short to medium term, their workload is unsustainable, and therefore has led many to reconsider their future.

Pension taxation remains an issue despite changes in the 20/21 budget to tapering rules. Our survey tells us that nearly 25% of respondents want more flexibility of how contributions are made so that these can be managed better. Additionally, given the increase in the rate of inflation in 21/22, the number of GPs facing pension tax charges is likely to increase significantly, making this aspect even more of a challenge for doctors.

This brings impacts for both practices and individuals.

When it comes to practices, they will need to consider future workforce planning as well as their structure going forward. Planning for changes in structures involves many considerations and this is where Mazars can help. With our long-standing expertise as one of the UK’s leading advisors to GP practices, we can assist with benchmarking and mergers of different sizes including refinancing of property ownership. We advise many GP networks across the country, each unique, having its own issues to consider.

For individuals, they need to plan their move to retirement. Not only does this mean pension records need to be accurate but with the complexities coming ahead of the McCloud rectification modelling, how best to take the pension, needs careful thought. Equally, the continued challenges of annual and lifetime pension allowances need consideration. Our specialist healthcare financial planning team can help by providing extensive modelling of how finances look through retirement to give GPs the confidence they need in making the right choice. Additionally, we will soon be launching a service that ensures pension records are brought up to date and are accurate, allowing you the ability to plan with confidence.

It’s important to note that, even those not planning to retire any time soon, still need to assess the impact of the annual allowance. With the changes in the 20/21 tax rules, those that may have previously opted out of the scheme may now wish to consider whether opting back in now is the right thing to do. The McCloud rectification may also lead to the need to untangle previous scheme pays elections or tax payments to HMRC.

At Mazars, we have a joined-up team able to provide GP Practices and GPs an all-around advisory service, covering practice planning, benchmarking, taxation, and pension advice. Our outsourcing services can also help reduce the administrative burden at the practice level. 

How we can help

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised above or want more information on our services, then please contact your regular healthcare team member or use the form below. 

Contact us today