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​Dentists: Check your pensions statements now for Annual Allowance breaches

22 October 2019

 
The BDA is urging dentists to ensure they check their pensions statements, to help confirm whether or not they have breached the pensions Annual Allowance, and consequently may have a tax charge to pay.

Pensions statements are usually sent out in October, and we know from speaking to dentists that many members are not aware of the information they should be receiving with respect to the Annual Allowance – more information is available for BDA members on our website. 

The Pension Inputs from different pension schemes should be provided to your accountant and used in the completion of your annual tax return. 


However, these statements do not directly show how much pension benefit you have built up in the NHS pension schemes – that information will be shown separately in an Annual Benefit Statement (see below).

Some BDA members have made us aware that their accounting or financial advisers have not been fully aware of how the Annual Allowance system works. You need to ensure your advisers are up to speed on this complex issue. 

Accountants who are members of NASDAL should be aware of this, as are Lloyd and White, the BDA's partner financial advisers.

Pensions statements across the UK

The different UK countries also have different approaches to supplying Pension Savings Statements:

England and Wales

In England and Wales the NHS Pensions policy is to provide Pension Savings Statements automatically to anyone who they believe has breached the Standard Annual Allowance of £40,000, and also to all dental practitioners.

Statements should be sent to you in early October. However, many dentists have told us that they are not familiar with these statements. 

If you have not received a statement in respect of the tax year 2018/19, you can contact NHS Pensions to request one – tel 0300 330 1346 or email nhsbsa.pensionsmember@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Note that requested Pensions Savings Statements can take up to three-months to be provided to you. 

NHS Pensions currently send Pension Savings Statements out by post. If you are a member of two of the NHS Schemes (e.g. the 1995 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme), then please be aware that two separate Savings Statements should be posted to you. 

Information on the Annual Benefit Statements can be accessed on the NHS Business Services Authority website. 

Northern Ireland

Encouragingly, the HSC Business Services Organisation (BSO) told us in Summer 2019 that Pensions Input information was to be provided to all members of the HSC Pension Schemes electronically.

You should be able to access this via their Member Self Service Area. This area should also have your separate Annual Benefit Statement information.

If you have any problems accessing this information, please email the BSO at: dentalpensions@hscni.net

Scotland

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA)’s policy is to only provide Pension Savings Statements to anyone who has breached the Standard Annual Allowance of £40,000 in any of the individual NHS Pension Schemes.

However, this doesn't account for anyone who has two NHS pensions, and whose combined pensions input might breach the Standard Annual Allowance.

It also doesn't account for anyone who has a reduced Annual Allowance (because they are a high earner).

We encourage dentists to request a Pensions Savings Statement, by contacting SPPA on tel 01896 893000 or email sppacontactus@gov.scot

Note that requested Pension Savings Statements can take up to three months to be provided to you. 

SPPA currently only send Pension Savings Statements in the post. If you are a member of two of the NHS Schemes (e.g. the 1995 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme), then two separate Savings Statements will be posted.

The separate Annual Benefit Statements can be accessed online.

What is the BDA doing on pensions tax?

More information and support on dentists’ pensions for BDA members is available on our website.

Dentists working under the NHS Pensions Scheme can face large tax charges, due to the complexity of the current system. We are calling for greater flexibility within the NHS Pensions Scheme to ensure dentists get a fairer deal.

We have been lobbying Government to ensure that the Annual Allowance information is made available in a timelier manner and available electronically, to help dentists ensure they know what their tax status is and plan accordingly.