Hesketh House Broadway Fleetwood Lancashire Phone Helplines Fax Fax by ammaalder


									                                                                                            Hesketh House
                                                                                            200-220 Broadway
                                                                                            Lancashire FY7 8LG

                                                                                    Phone 01253 774800(Helplines)

General Medical Practitioners

                                                                                            Your ref

                                                                                            Our ref GP Practice Staff 3

                                                                                            Date 15 August 1997

Dear Colleague



Hello again. The Q&A briefing included with our letter dated 31 July 1997 clearly set many of you thinking last week,
with our Helplines answering up to 600 of your questions per day. We hope you managed to get through without too
long a wait! This letter updates and reinforces points in the Q&A briefing, and gives you details of the employer training
and support we are providing to help you administer the NHS Scheme.


The Guide

On 1 September 1997, you will receive, by recorded delivery, an Employer’s Guide to the NHS Pension Scheme. This
will be an entirely new product, commissioned and funded by the NHS Pensions Agency through an external
contractor. There will be no charge to you for this Guide which will provide the essential information you need to
administer the Scheme, in an accessible form.

Training Products

Later in September, two training products will be available for you to purchase at minimal cost.

The first will be a paper based training supplement to the Employer Guide. We expect it to comprise practical
examples, case studies, practise cases and other training support.

We will also be making available, on disk, a combined Guide and Training Supplement. This IT package will be user
friendly, and accessible to most PC users through a Windows environment. The IT and paper based products will be
identical in content, but the IT version will have hypertext links to aid navigation. Further user information will be
provided when we invite your orders.
Helpline Support

From 1 September, I am pleased to say that your Helpline service will become FREEPHONE and be expanded to
include support for all aspects of the employer package, including the Guide, the Training Supplement and the IT
alternative. We will write to you with more information about this and the training products later this month.


GP Practice Staff Receiving NHS Scheme Pensions

Item 22 of the July employee Q&A briefing makes the point that GP Practice employees under age 60 and receiving an
NHS Scheme pension, may need to have their NHS pension abated. Under the NHS Pension Scheme Regulations,
abatement applies if the employees NHS pension and GP Practice pensionable salary together total more than their
NHS pensionable salary when they retired. This rule affects all NHS employees whether or not they actually join the
Scheme. Although we do not expect many people to be affected, officials are considering whether anything can be
done for those who are. We will write to you again soon about this but in the meantime will you please advise your
employees to:

tell you if they are receiving an NHS pension, and if so

write to or telephone our pension paying agents PAYMASTER. Their address is:

PO Box 382
West Sussex
RH10 1WF

Telephone number: 01293 604020

Ask them to give full details of their Practice job and quote their PAYMASTER pension reference number.

Please note that the address and telephone number above is only for enquiries about the effect of GP Practice
employment on NHS pensions from 1 September 1997. Please contact the GP Helpline on 01253 774800 for all other

Employers National Insurance Tables - correction

Item 22 of the July employer O&A briefing gave a contact number for obtaining National Insurance tables.
Contributions Agency have asked us to change this telephone number to: 06451 50150.

Or you can leave a message on their Answerphone 0191 225 0184

Or use their tax service on 0191225 0204

In all cases please quote your full Practice address and the NHS Pension Scheme ECON number - 3900000M.


The above letter asked you to complete and send Annex A to the Agency showing employee details we need to plan
your pension services and administration pack. At the time of writing many Annex As are outstanding. If YOU have yet
to respond, please do so now. If yours is one of a number of Practices who did not receive our June letter, we
apologise for the problem with our distribution arrangements. Please telephone the Helpline on 01253 774800 who will
help you tax or send the Annex urgently.

A number of Practices have contacted the Agency about an article in the 15 August issue of GP Magazine which
suggests that GP’s face fines if they fall to return Annex A to the Agency’s letter dated 24 June 1997. Can 1 reassure
all GPs that the Agency did not vet or authorise this article and will NOT be imposing fines or sanctions on Practices
which fail to return the Annex. The main point made by the article appears to be that pensions regulatory bodies such
as the Pensions Ombudsman are empowered to impose sanctions, including fines, on Employers who fail to inform
staff of availability and details of an occupational scheme. These are NOT Agency or NHS provisions, they apply to
ALL Employers who provide an occupational pension scheme.

Clearly we DO want Practices to return Annex A but we are aware that some of you did not receive the 24 June letter
because of the distribution problem which only came to light towards the end of July. In the circumstances the Agency
is making arrangements to ensure that ALL Practices will receive a basic Administration Pack by 1 September 1997,
whether or not we have their Annex A.

I have asked GP Magazine to correct the impression given by this article and the following points of detail:

        GP Practice employees can choose to join the Scheme or opt out.

        the Agency did not "suggest" that private pensions be frozen, that is for the employee to decide after
        independent advice, if they wish.

        staff can pay into two occupational schemes but will need to be aware of overall Inland Revenue limits.

Yours sincerely

Business Development Manager

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