Specialist medical accountants have highlighted concerns that GPs could be overlooked in measures to remedy unlawful NHS Pension Scheme discrimination identified by the McCloud judgment.
In its response to the government’s consultation on the second set of draft amendments to NHS Pension Schemes Regulations addressing the McCloud remedy, the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) is calling for the amendments to make specific provision for GPs, alongside non-GP providers and dental practitioners.
Central to AISMA’s concerns is the provision of Remediable Service Statements, which all active and deferred members of the pension scheme are due to receive by 1 April 2025. For GPs, the provision of Remediable Service Statements will depend on the NHS Business Authority (NHSBA) delivering Annual Allowance Pension Savings Statements and Total Reward Statements. However, there are issues relating to the updating of records the NHSBA needs to provide these statements, due to long-running problems in the processing of GP pension returns at Primary Care Support England (PCSE).
Deborah Wood, AISMA Chairman, said: “A significant proportion of the GPs AISMA accountants represent do not receive automatic Annual Allowance Pension Savings Statements when they should, nor can they access Total Reward Statements. As part of the McCloud remedy, a distinct, separate exercise is needed to bring GPs’ records up to date and to ensure accurate information is held by NHSBA.”
She added that that while the NHSBA might issue the various statements on time to meet the Remediable Service Statements deadlines, for GPs the statements may well be incorrect or unreliable because of the delays and errors already in the system.
“Some medical professionals might receive their Remediable Service Statements much earlier than others in the period up to March 2025, but GPs may find themselves left behind, if the errors and arrears are not dealt with well before the deadline.”