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Quilter urges govt to amend NHS scheme rules due to Covid

written by Bella Palmer
nhs-scheme

It has sent open letters to the chancellor, health secretary and economic secretary to the Treasury

Quilter has urged ministers to change NHS scheme pays rules so staff avoid “undue tax costs” while they fight coronavirus.

The open letter calls for an overhaul of the rules to give members more time to get their pension planning in order.

It has been sent to chancellor Rishi Sunak, health secretary Matt Hancock and economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen.

Scheme pays allows savers to settle annual allowance tax charges of more than £2,000 through the pension fund without needing to find cash upfront.

Quilter says it is seeing doctors who are only realising now that they have annual allowance liabilities for historic tax years.

It adds some are being forced to take on significant debts to settle annual allowance charges and the pandemic could make this worse.

Quilter points out almost all consultants and GPs in the UK are at risk of triggering the reduced annual allowance that amounts to more than 100,000 doctors.

A previous Freedom of Information Act request it submitted revealed that nearly three quarters of GP records were not up to date in January 2020 for the 17/18 tax year showing a significant population of GPs get their statements late.

The government did extend the 2018/19 NHS scheme pays deadline to 31 March 2021 in light of the pandemic.

Quilter says the pandemic will be felt for a considerable time and argues it is vital the NHS are granted the time they need to make the 19/20 deadline.

The letter says: We now ask the government consider a similar extension to the 2019/20 NHS pension scheme pays deadline and all future NHS pension scheme pays deadlines so that members can make retrospective NHS scheme pays elections within the same four-year time period that is available for those who are able to amend an existing election.

The letter adds the NHS England and NHS Wales annual allowance compensation schemes require clinicians to complete a scheme pays election form in order to qualify.

Quilter NHS specialist Graham Crossley says: There is already a substantial population of doctors who are only now realising that they have annual allowance liabilities for historic tax years. As the NHS scheme pays deadline has passed for those tax years, doctors have fewer options to settle the annual allowance charge and some are having to resort to taking on significant debts.

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