GPs are facing tax problems as Primary Care Support England misses the August pension deadline
2nd September 2020
Last week Primary Care Support England (PCSE) wrote to GPs to tell them they will now have to wait until December at the earliest to receive their pension certificates for 2018/19. The certificates should have been completed by the customary August deadline.
Every year PCSE are tasked with producing Total Rewards Statements in August and December. However, as the latest round wasn’t completed by August as they should have been, doctors will now have to wait at least another 4 months until they receive their statements. This leaves GPs unable to calculate their annual tax allowance and unable to make crucial decisions about to manage their pensions.
The actual number of GPs that have been affected is not clear. While some professional advisers have said it could be as many as half, Capita (the company the production of the certificates has been outsourced to) have said it’s actually a much smaller number.
PCSE have been even less comital. In their letter to GPs they’ve only been able to admit that “not all NHS Pension members’ certificates have been processed” before promising all certificates will be ready by the time the Total Rewards Statements are sent out in December 2020. Their letter went on to say that throughout the COVID pandemic PCSE had been focussing on keeping essential services running and making sure there were no disruptions to the frontline primary care being provided to the public and the pressure and additional workload had made it difficult to attend to more administrative tasks like payments and records.
The failure to provide the required statements has been brought into sharper focus because plans to make wholesale changes to the NHS pension scheme are in progress. This means GPs need to have the most up to date pension information if they are going to be able to decide on the best options for their future financial wellbeing.
The fact that information is now going to be months late could well, as Glyn Rawlings, Head of Medical at Rowleys, explains, leave doctors in a very dangerous position:
“Yet again GPs are being let down by PCSE. Many GPs will not now have their pension records updated so will be unable to get an estimate of their pension benefits. Without this they will be uncertain as to whether they will have exceeded their standard or tapered Annual Allowance and potentially subject to a tax charge.”
We will continue to monitor and report developments but if you are a GP and would like to discuss any aspect of your pension or tax position in more detail, please call us on 0116 2827000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.