Have you checked that your NHS Pension record is up to date and accurate?

28.05.2020
Alex Harrington
Healthcare

The NHS Pension scheme is considered one of the most generous in the UK and is a substantial benefit for its members.

Therefore it is important to ensure that if you are part of the scheme - your pension record is up to date and accurate. This is even more crucial for those members nearing retirement and considering drawing their pension.

To ensure your pension record is up to date and accurate you will need to obtain your Total Rewards Statement (TRS) or Annual Benefits Statement (ABS).

Depending on your circumstances you will receive a either a Total Rewards Statement (TRS) or Annual Benefits Statement (ABS). Your respective statement will allow you to review the current level of your pension benefits (including lump sum receivable, hypothetical annuity costs, membership history and contributions made), and will be updated each year on 31 August following the processing of pension records. 

Reports do not contain live data but will detail your benefits up to 31 March each year based upon the information provided to the NHS Pensions Agency by the 31 May.

Pension administration issues

It has been well publicised that there have been issues with NHS Pension administration, in particular for General Practitioners (following the submission of Type 1 and 2 superannuation certificates for processing by Primary Care Support England). In addition to the significant delays in the processing of information, we have seen both inaccuracies and omissions in pension records - sometimes spanning multiple years.

To further add validity to these concerns, NHS England announced in 2018 that following a review of a small sample, discrepancies had been found between pensionable earnings and contributions data provided to the NHS Business Services Authority. 

How do I obtain a statement?

You should be able to view your TRS by visiting the website; logging in using your GOV.UK Verify account or ESR Employee Self Service user account.

If you are unable to view your TRS, please contact the NHS Pensions Agency by email. It may be that your pension data has not yet been processed or you require a manual statement to be sent via post.

Most NHS workers are able to obtain a statement every year. Historic reports are not available, and you will only be able to view your current statement until the report has been run for the following year’s data. It is therefore imperative that you retain a copy for your records. Once you have received your statement, please contact us and we will be happy to provide a review service.

What can Lovewell Blake do for you?

Lovewell Blake can scrutinise your report and respective pension records in order to ensure these are accurate and that all earnings have been recorded. This is especially important if you are looking to take your benefits. If we identify any anomalies within your statement we will detail these for you, along with providing information on how to rectify your record.

It is worth noting that pension records are utilised by the NHS Business Services Authority to establish the annual growth in your pension for Annual Allowance purposes. Therefore if your pension records are inaccurate, it is possible that any Annual Allowance Pensions Savings Statement subsequently received will be under or overstated. This could mean that amendments spanning multiple years are required in order to rectify your tax affairs.

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