Doctors overpaid ‘extremely complicated’ charges by £11m

5th November 2021 by NASGP

Doctors overpaid ‘extremely complicated’ charges by £11m

A group of doctors overpaid pensions tax charges to the tune of £11m, a financial advisory firm told Pulse this week.

More than 400 retired doctors who paid Lifetime Allowance (LTA) tax on their pensions faced a collective £11m in charges.

The doctors, all members of the same wealth management firm, are now eligible to apply for reimbursement. The NHS Business Services Authority has agreed to write to inform them of their options.

Graham Crossley, an NHS pension specialist at the firm who found this out from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, told Pulse: ‘This data illustrates how an extremely complicated pension taxation system in the UK can cause significant numbers of doctors to fall through the cracks and ultimately pay much more in pension tax than needed.

‘There remain numerous problems surrounding public sector and NHS pensions which desperately need the Government’s urgent attention, but it is a pleasure to unearth this opportunity to do some good and help a group of people that have spent their careers helping others.’

GPs have spoken out a number of times about the ‘extremely complicated’ nature of tax on pensions. The NHS Pensions Scheme complicates matters even further for doctors, and for self-employed locums the complications can be even more confusing.

GP locums are becoming increasingly frustrated by the new PCSE pensions portal, NASGP founders told PCSE in an email last month. Locums lost hours on pensions paperwork after PCSE Online dropped auto-fill forms and generated errors last summer and GPs were even mistakenly given access to colleagues’ pension accounts, a GP campaign group reported.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “We are facing a dire shortage of GP capacity, with a significant factor in this being burnout caused by low morale. This is not made any better by the perfect storm of a dysfunctional taxation system and a dystopian pension administration process.

“We need an urgent review to fix this and let GPs get on with their day job.”

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