Current Practice Issues
Unfortunately, only a minority of practices have experienced a smooth problem free couple of years when it comes to the outsourced function of PCSE. Here are some of the main issues below:
Superannuation certificates not being processed on time, despite the certificates being submitted before the deadline.
Following a review of the March 2018 GMS/PMS Exeter statements it became apparent that the certificates had not been actioned. If this was identified prior to 5 April 2018 then practices could be advised to pay any shortfalls before the end of the tax year. This solved the problem of tax relief on the superannuation for the 2017/18 personal tax returns.
However, in many cases this then caused another issue. PCSE then processed the 2016/17 certificates in April 2018 or sometimes May 2018 but did not tie up the separate payments that had been made which meant there were then duplicated shortfall collections and for some practices this caused significant cashflow problems.
For many practices this has not yet been resolved and the only action prescribed is to contact PCSE enquiries through their online portal. It is taking months for payment issues to be resolved.
Estimate of NHS Pensionable Pay forms
These are also not being actioned effectively, neither on time nor at all in some cases. This has caused incorrect contributions to be collected from the practice or contributions to not be collected at all. New partners or those re-joining have not been added to the scheme on time and those partners retiring or becoming deferred members have not been removed. Sometimes contributions have continued to be collected long after a GP has retired.
This effects the tax relief available to the GP partners on their individual tax returns. This is because only actual contributions made in the tax year receive tax relief. However, if there are instances where pension contributions are overpaid, tax relief is restricted.
PCSE operate the collection of superannuation and initial processing of certificates (which has been outsourced to Capita)
They have been slow in processing certificates and estimates leading to the issues described.
PCSE have also not been providing the information to the NHS Pensions agency which is why there are gaps in doctor’s service histories, even though certificates have been correctly submitted.
Other current issues: Superannuation certificates
Practices need to ensure they are seeking help and advice from specialist medical accountants on completing superannuation certificates for the partners at the practice and for salaried GPs.
All salaried GPs need to complete a type 2 certificate and all GP partners a type 1 certificate of pensionable earnings for their correct pensionable pay to be on their pension record. We are increasingly seeing GPs retiring with gaps in their records which is holding up pension calculations and consequently them receiving the correct amount of pension.
The deadline for completion of the 2017/18 certificates is 28 February 2019.
If you or your practice are affected by any of the above issues we would be pleased to assist. Please email Catherine Hough or call us on 01253 404404.