The NHS has confirmed over 2800 NHS pension scheme statements have been identified as having errors. The error affects statements dated between the 20th – 27th of April and issued on the 28th of April this year, and concerns data used in the production of automated statements only, not manually created statements.
Although we always recommend checking the data and verifying its meaning with your accountant or a specialist financial advisor, we must stress that most statements are still reliable.
This situation came to light when one such statement was found to have an error. There was a discrepancy between the manually estimated growth calculated by the doctor’s advisor in their NHS pension value of £33,000 with no annual allowance charge. The NHS pensions scheme issued statement showed a £77,000 growth, resulting in a £16,000 annual allowance tax charge. The NHS pension scheme statement was incorrect.
On further investigation, this error was a more widespread concern covering the above dates. The NHS Business Services are aware of the issue and have been investigating the problem. They have since confirmed there are in the region of 2,800 members affected. However, remember it only affects automated statements!
What should you look out for?
If your automated NHS pension scheme statement is within these dates or you have any concerns about unexpected growth and charges it’s best to check with your accountant or advisor and contact the NHS to verify your figures.
The NHSBSA plan to issue new statements to members “as a precaution” and will write directly to those affected.
Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA pensions committee chair, summed it up well…
“It’s doubly frustrating that a huge number of doctors are not even able to access accurate or timely information about their pensions.”
“We’re glad that NHS pensions have recognised the error on this occasion and are committing to correct it, but it’s unacceptable that it happened in the first place.”
Sadly, the expected launch of the NHSBSA online portal in June 2020, that promised to provide far greater detail and availability of information to members, making spotting such errors easier, has been delayed and is still undergoing testing prior to launch.
In the meantime, we strongly advise you to keep double-checking those statements and take specialist advice if you are at all unsure.
Has your automated pension statement been affected by the error? Let us know by leaving a comment below