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On the grey morning of 25 September, I travelled from London the Capita offices in Blackburn for the first time. There I met with the Capita team and NHSE (NHS England) representatives for our monthly meeting.
As you will see, I have kept the format of this update the same to make it easier for you to see the issues that were raised and how we are progressing with them.
The bank details for sending monies remain absent from the Capita website due to a security concern from NHSE.
This is an ongoing concern – how would anyone entering the world of locuming know where to send their money?
NHSE has advised they are still trying to resolve this internally. The question I pose each time is; if HMRC can publish their BACS details online why can’t they?
For reassurance, the bank details have not changed and you can continue to use the details you have used for previous months. If you do not have the bank details, Capita has stated that you can contact them to get these details, however, Capita do have a large backlog of emails.
In August, I asked Capita to provide a statement on their website to reflect this.
This is the link to the GP locum section of the Capita website.
I met with NHS Pensions and they have confirmed that forms do not need to be sent from an NHS email address as previously stated.
I am hoping to meet NHS Pensions later this month to look at redesigning the locum A and B forms and to ensure the guidance notes are more appropriate, including having the comments removed regarding NHS.net email addresses.
These monies continue to remain ring-fenced until they can be allocated to individuals. We have been advised that there is no risk that this money will be lost.
I believe the easiest way to identify unallocated monies would be if individuals were to receive a statement for the years ending 31 March 2016 and 2017. Then, members would be able to detect if any monies were missing from their pension record and Capita could begin the process of having it allocated.
NHSE continue to agree it is about doing the right thing for sessional GPs.
We have a commitment that NHSE and Capita will look at the process of providing an annual statement for the year ending 31 March 2016 in the first instance.
Despite this being agreed in July, sadly, this still has not started and we have not been offered an explanation for the reasons behind this.
This is probably the biggest ongoing concern I hear from sessional GPs. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is illogical that we pay money into a pension scheme each month without any form of receipt confirming that the correct amount has been entered for the correct month.
While at the Capita offices, I was allowed free reign to wander and meet with the various teams. I chose to spend the majority of my time with the two receipts teams. One team deal with those that send monies by cheques and the other deal with monies sent by BACS.
The teams work differently. The team that receive the cheques go through each form manually and send an email that the forms and monies have been processed for the relevant month.
The automated emails are for those that send monies by BACS, however, this only occurs once the email is opened. This may go some way towards explaining why individuals receive automated responses much later than when the email was sent.
Capita has admitted there is a large backlog, and as a result they may not have processed your emails yet. They have informed me that they are recruiting 40 new individuals to deal with this backlog.
NHSE and NHS Pensions have agreed to an amnesty. NHS Pensions have created a new form, which will allow individuals to submit this form back to 2010/11, when the requirement began. I have tested the form and have made over 20 suggestions for improvements.
I have raised my concerns again about how huge and difficult this will be to get right. A simple reason being many GPs still do not know if they are type 2 practitioners or not.
It would appear that the delay in implementing the amnesty is based on who would process these type 2 forms. NHSE implied that they would need to reach a commercial agreement on who will undertake the processing of the amnesty forms.
Could this be someone other than Capita? It is difficult to know.
Here is another curve ball and a complicated one at that.
In the 1995 and 2008 NHS Pension Scheme, the tier you pay is based on your practitioner earnings. However, for those who transitioned onto the 2015 Scheme, this is no longer the case.
This is essentially a regulation that will result in certain members having to tier their pension contributions at a higher rate based on their annualised earnings rather than their actual earnings.
This is dependent on if you have taken breaks within the Pension Scheme year.
I believe this is a highly unfair regulation.
Rather than try to explain the detail here, the BMA Pensions team and I have written guidance which can be found here.
To add to this complicated regulation, I have discovered that Capita has no mechanism to process this. Will this require another amnesty?
There are many ongoing issues, some more complicated than others and they affect us all. We will continue to meet with Capita and NHSE until we can get the issues sorted.
If you would like to get in touch you can email me or pensions for specific queries. I will continue to provide updates for you.
Krishan Aggarwal is the sessional GPs subcommittee deputy chair
Follow him on Twitter
Thanks Krishan. Really useful to share with LMC constituents. Clare
How to make occasional locums completely improactical....
Comprehensive and informative thanks Krish.
I wonder how many salaried GPs are entirely unaware that their hard earned money, deducted by payroll and sent off for pension contributions, has not been allocated to them and is instead sitting in some other bank account as they were unaware they're meant to fill in a type 2 self assessment form? Will they ever get this money back?
Excellent work Krishnan Aggarwal. Your appraisal this year will be glowing!
Thank you for your assertive help and KEEP GOING until this madness is sorted.
GPs are working so hard, we have no time to sit on the phone or email about these errors. How can a financial institution in this day and age justify such poor standard of delivery? I have had comments from PCSE staff suggest on the phone that the work prior to pcse/ capita taking over was even worse- I am dreading to find out that many more years have not been correctly paid when I was always salaried or as a junior dr and naively thought hospital and GP practice managers knew what they were doing.
Ho Hum I took my money out of the NHS pension scheme 3 years ago. Its now in a private scheme and I can draw down on it from age 55. At least the market is amoral. You can no longer do this. I have in my possession (somewhere) a letter saying that the provisions of the NHS scheme (being a statutory scheme) could only be changed by act of parliament. there has been no act of parliament stopping people from taking their money out. This is on the basis of DRAFT regulations. Someone ought to challenge this in the Courts. No doubt there will be further draft regulations brought in especially if Govt gets the Henry VIII powers they are looking for. You can guarantee that these powers won't be limited to Brexit matters.....
Thankyou for all your hard work-what a mess.
Hi, responding to posts in order.
1. Thank you Clare.
2. "How to make occasional locums completely improactical...." I could not agree more!
3. Thank you Mark
4. "I wonder how many salaried GPs are .........Will they ever get this money back?" Personally, I do not think that there is a risk that the money will be lost. Imagine it sitting in a master bank account that has not been allocated to your own personal account yet. Once people start getting receipts of previous years, then they should be able to see what is missing and have it allocated. The BMA pensions team and I have done quite a few so far.
5. "Excellent work ........ practice managers knew what they were doing." Thank you. Posts prior to being a GP are officer posts and here it is the service that is relevant not the funds paid in. Many of us thought that hospitals and PMs knew what they were doing, sadly it is not always the case. The vast majority are fine though. One thing that Capita has done is to highlight the historic problems. We have to remember Capita took over in November 2015, so anything before this was NHSE.
6. "Ho Hum I took my.....This is on the basis of DRAFT regulations.......powers won't be limited to Brexit matters..." Thank you. I will look in to this.
7. "Thank you for all your hard work-what a mess." Thank you.
again, massive thanks from me for working so hard to get this sorted
Hi Krishan, I'm confused... you say when you went to Blackburn on 25th September they "hadn't started" on their work to update everyone's TRS to 31st March 2016 but I've been chasing mine and I have an e-mail from PCSE Blackburn dated 10.10.17 saying: "The TRS is not a "live" document, it only gets updated once per year every year via a manual upload towards the end of summer (usually August)
They have just finished running one so all applicable records on the statements should now be up to date as to 31/03/2016" Needless to say, when I went on the website, it wasn't there... but they did give me the phone number at TRS to ring "if I had problems" - watch this space
Krishan, v. useful! Can we request that you join Tiko GP group of facebook? We need you to help us through this. I read your blog & if not for your blog, i'd have known nothing about the Type 2 form which i shoud've filled in for last 7 years. Plenty of those on the Tiko forum have no knowledge of it either. This is a huge issue. Thanks
I have requested to join Tiko's group.
I was a salaried GP from August 2010 to April 2016 and have just found out about type 2 forms. I am extremely grateful to hear that you are trying to sort this mess out for us. Do you feel that there is a deliberate attempt to make the NHS pension unattractive for GPs or is this simply incompetence? Thanks again, Andreas
I do not think that this is a deliberate attempt to make the NHS pension unattractive for GPs. This is mostly due to the fact that previously different area teams were approaching this in different ways. Some were very active, others did not bother.
Since Capita have taken over in November 2015, it has highlighted the differences between areas.
Going forwards, It is now down to NHSE to get this right.
Thank you so much , Krishan
I am a type 2 practitioners with 4 years of pension contributions missing because of not filling type 2 practitioner forms.
BMA pensions discovered this for me. You won't be surprised to hear that PCSE (Capita) never replied when I contacted them directly.
BMA pensions have sent me the missing forms to fill however it is hard to fill these forms retrospectively. Although I know with complete certainty which % tier is due for each year, the actual breakdown from each type of work are figures I struggle to find. My tax records lump the income together and it is going to be pretty complicated to work out from my other records.
Will the amnesty type 2 practitioner form allow us to attest to the correct tier without requesting breakdown of figures? This is the thing that is holding me back at the moment. Surely it is only knowing the correct tier and total pensionable income that is important ? Do Capita really want a complicated form to check and administer?
Many grateful thanks for your ongoing and very valuable work.