We know / that as busy medical professionals, it’s difficult to find time to prioritise your own plans.  For most doctors, your NHS Pension will underpin your plans to reduce hours/stop work altogether later on.

However, there have been so many changes to the NHS Pension and pension legislation in general over the past seven years that it becomes near impossible to keep up with how these might affect you now and in the future.

When I speak to doctors and dentists a lot of the questions are around understanding where they are at the moment and getting a handle on what they can expect later on.  They don’t understand how recent scheme changes will affect them but more specifically are concerned about the impact of the Tapered Annual Allowance and are wondering if they have an outstanding tax bill but, because the rules are so complicated, are struggling to work out what that might be.

My advice to start with would be:

  • Don’t bury your head in the sand and more importantly, don’t bury any Annual Pension Savings Statements under that pile of outstanding paperwork!  If you can’t work it out, then speak to us – we can’t do what you do, you can’t be expected to know everything about tax legislation!
  • Get a Total Reward Statement https://www.totalrewardstatements.nhs.uk/ to get a feel for what you have accrued to date.  These tend to get refreshed for salaried doctors around September/October time.  You will possibly see the position to 31 March 2018 at the moment.  If you are a GP it might be 31 March 2017 depending on your Practice Financial Year End. It will still give you a good idea of what’s in the pot.

Whilst we have specific knowledge of the NHS Pension, our main job here is to get you to think ahead.  What will you be doing in 10 years’ time for instance?  What do you want your finances to look like?  What do you need to do to get there?

Because this is important to us, we are fairly sure it’s important for you.  Talk to us if you would like us to help you plan. Email Amanda Cowie, Chartered Financial Adviser and NHS Pension Specialist: acowie@robson-laidler.co.uk