An update on the Capita and NHS pension controversy

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Dr Krishan Aggarwal is Lantum's GP Community Rep for Portfolio Careers. Below are his notes from recent meetings with NHSE (NHS England) and Capita (PCSE) on sessional GP issues with NHS pensions…

Dr Aggarwal is Deputy Chair of the Sessional General Practitioners Committee of the BMA.

  1. BACS reference and bank details

Bank details for sending monies still remain absent from the PCSE website because of a security concern from NHSE. I am working with the NHSE to remedy this and have them visible on the website again.

NB. The bank details have not changed and you can continue to use the same details as previous months. I have asked Capita to provide a statement on their website to reflect this.

You can find the BACS reference details on the GP locum section of the Capita website.

If you do not have the bank details, Capita has stated that you can contact them and have advised that their response times have improved.

Since introducing the new BACS reference number, Capita reported that it is now quicker and easier to allocate monies to individuals and therefore, update their pension record.

I would recommend you use the agreed BACS reference number when submitting monies to Capita rather than sending a cheque.

  1. Emailed forms

The Capita website still states, ‘NHS England is currently seeking further clarification from the Pensions Agency with regard to the acceptance of emailed forms.  We will provide an update if there is any change to the guidance provided above. In the meantime, we advise that you keep a copy of forms submitted via email.’

However, we have raised that it would be ‘unacceptable to ask members to resubmit their forms in paper for the past year or even longer.’

NHS Pensions have subsequently confirmed that they will accept scanned forms via email. We have now received the necessary reassurance from NHSE that individuals will no longer be asked for paper copies of forms submitted previously via email.

This is the case for all pension forms including locum A, B, SOLO and type 2 forms.

NB. I realise I am pointing out the obvious, but I would recommend keeping either a paper or electronic version for your own records.

The only issue remaining with this item is that NHS Pensions is stating that the forms must be sent from a validated email address. What is a validated email address and why is it needed?

If a form has the personal details of the GP, their signature and a signature from the practice/provider, I cannot understand how much more assurance NHS Pensions require.

We have advised NHSE that NHS Pensions cannot insist on forms coming from an NHS.net account, as many locums still do not have access to these.

NHSE will now be seeking legal advice on what constitutes a validated email address and whether this is necessary. I will update you after the next meeting.

In the meantime, what do you do? Email your forms as normal.

Please be aware that the email address to send your forms has changed. The new email address is pcse.gp-pensions@nhs.net 

  1. Unallocated money

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.

The easiest way, I believe, 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 has agreed it is about doing the right thing for sessional GPs.

This is a considerable and complex amount of work, however, we now have a commitment that NHSE and Capita will look at the process of providing an annual statement for the year ending 31 March 2016. We will continue to follow this up.

  1. There is no mechanism of receipt for:
    1. Locum A, B forms and payment
    2. SOLO forms
    3. Type 2 annual self-assessment form
    4. appraisers pension contributions (via locum A/B forms or SOLO forms)

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 and do not receive any form of receipt that the correct amount has been entered for the correct month.

Capita had stated that you should be receiving an automated email to state that a case has been opened when you submit your locum A and B forms, followed by an email that your forms are being processed, with a third and final automated email once completed.

This should occur as long as there is an email address on the locum B form.

I would be grateful if you could let us know if this is not the case - my email is below.

Capita will shortly be providing receipts for SOLO forms.

We will continue to monitor this and follow this up at the next meeting.

  1. Pension records online

Capita is looking at a process of having a live system which would demonstrate monthly contributions. This is expected to go live in April 2018 and will be prospective not retrospective.

We have requested to be involved in this piece of work at an early stage.

  1. Type 2 annual self-assessment form
  1. Many sessional GPs are unaware of the requirement to complete these forms.
  2. What happens to those that have not completed one?

NHSE and NHS Pensions have agreed to an amnesty. NHS Pensions has created a new form which will allow individuals to submit it back to 2010/11, when the requirement began.

I have received the form and will be testing it.

I have raised my concerns again on how difficult this will be for NHSE and Capita to get this right. A simple reason being many GPs still do not know if they are type 2 practitioners or not.

There is finally a recognition of the complexities.

There is an agreement that we will work on this together to get the best solution for sessional GPs who are type 2 practitioners.

There is nothing that you need to do at the moment. Once I have all the detail, I will do an update with everything you need to know.

  1. Web page/Capita updates

As mentioned above, there is a specific webpage for locum GPs.

I have requested a similar page for GPs who are type 2 practitioners to include a statement regarding type 2 forms (mentioned above) and where information in the future can be collated.

I have been asking for a web page with the Capita updates which are usually only sent to practices, which you can now view here.

  1. Locum A and B forms

As you probably already know, the forms changed again in mid-May. Unfortunately, we did not receive any communication that this would be the case.

Going forward there is an agreement from NHSE and NHS Pensions that I will have an opportunity to have an input prior to any new forms being released.

I would just like to reiterate two important points from my last update regarding the updated forms.

  1. Capita will not refuse any paperwork that does not have the BACS reference number, although please ensure that monies are sent with the agreed BACS reference number.
  2. The guidance notes also state that the forms need to be sent from an NHS.net account. This is not the case.
  1. The change in employers contribution rate of 14.38% from 1 April 2017

As mentioned in my last update, the employers contribution for the NHS Pension Scheme has increased from 14.3% to 14.38% as of 1 April 2017.

The 14.38% applies to all payments received after 1 April 2017 irrespective of when the work was done. Practices have received the increase of 0.08% in their global sum. Please ensure this is correct, as where it is not Capita is sending forms back.

Capita has stated that one in 300 forms were incorrectly returned and they have subsequently resolved those issues.

Again, I would be grateful to hear if this is not the case.

Where individuals have received monies prior to 1 April 2017 these will need to go on the old form with the 14.3%. Where monies have been received after this date these will need to go on the new forms with the 14.38%. In essence, for that month you may need to submit two sets of forms.

The latest forms (post 1 April 2017) – locum A and locum B

The old forms (pre 1 April 2017) – locum A and locum B

  1. Performers list

The GP trainees subcommittee have received several queries with regard to newly qualified GPs who were awaiting confirmation of their change in status on the NPL (National Payment List) following their achievement of CCT.

There is now a statement on the PCSE website which people can link to.

Hopefully this will avoid people losing out on work or delays to starting dates until the administrative process is completed.

Preparation is also underway to manage the NPL entry for GP registrars for the August 2017 to January 2018 cohort. As previously agreed, these will be added en bloc for the 14 regional areas.

We are still chasing NHSE on updating the performers list and providing a complete copy to individual LMCs in order to help engagement with sessional GPs. This is currently being piloted in three LMCs.

Another one to follow up at the next meeting.

That is all for now. We will continue to meet with Capita and NHSE until we can get the issues sorted. We have a date planned for next month.

If you would like to get in touch with me please email sessionalgps.gpc@bma.org.uk or for specific pension queries pensions@bma.org.uk

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