BMA withdraws its guidance on annualising of 2015 pension scheme contributions

23rd February 2018 by NASGP

BMA withdraws its guidance on annualising of 2015 pension scheme contributions

In a surprising and confusing development today, Friday 23 February 2018, the BMA has officially withdrawn its guidance on annualisation within the 2015 NHS pension scheme, while they seek “further clarity from NHSBSA as to the legitimacy and application of these regulations.”

The BMA have recently officially stated that they see the application of annualisation in the practitioner part of the scheme as “botched”, and that even the BMA has received responses to the many queries it has made to NHS Pensions “that are very unclear on how these regulations are being applied.”

This would explain why many GPs are also struggling to understand both the technicalities of the break-in-service rules that trigger annualisation, and why they seem designed to penalise lower paid GPs who may be locums on a break because of maternity leave or illness, GPs who offer flexible, sporadic support to practices in need, or GPs taking up a post partway through a pension year, including newly-qualified GPs.

So the BMA, like many of us, is now so confused and concerned that it is unable to give coherent guidance. In addition, Krishan Aggarwal, Deputy Chair of the Sessional Subcommittee, speaking in a personal capacity, has revealed that the Type 2 self-assessment form contains errors, and what he has done personally with his own form submission, and the BMA have asked if the 28 February deadline for submitting these forms can be lifted until all the BMA’s questions have been answered and the form corrected.

What next? This leaves GPs with even more uncertainty over their pensions, finances, whether and when to take up posts and, for Type 2 Practitioners, what to do about the impending 28 February deadline for submitting Type 2 self-assessment forms which appear to contain errors for GPs with different roles.

This appears to be an evolving situation. No doubt social media will be ablaze with GPs sharing concerns and ideas over the coming days, and we will keep members updated as news unfolds.

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