Superannuation collections and the importance of checking your Open Exeter statement every month!

Matt Sturman
Medical professional

Each year a Practice is required to submit to PCSE by 1 March an ‘Estimate of Pensionable Profits’ form for the forthcoming pension year commencing on 1 April.

Medical professional

The purpose of this form is to record an estimate of pensionable profit for each GP partner, salaried GP and non-GP partner at the Practice so that Primary Care Support England (PCSE) can collect the monthly on account employer and employee superannuation contributions, by deduction from Practice income, via the Open Exeter system.

The Practice should keep a copy of the completed form to refer to and check every month that the correct level of contributions are being collected for all individuals included on the form. It is important to carry out this check so that any under or over collections can be identified at the earliest opportunity, an enquiry raised with PCSE to establish why they have arisen and to ensure they are corrected in a timely manner. This will help to prevent any significant under or over collections during the year which may have an unexpected impact on Practice cash flow when subsequently identified either through the annual accounts preparation or superannuation certificate (type 1 or type 2) completion process.

There are a number of issues that could give rise to the incorrect collection of superannuation contributions during the year:

  1. Partners or salaried GPs opting out or back into the NHS pension scheme and contributions not ceasing or recommencing;
  2. Partners or salaried GPs leaving or joining the Practice and contributions not ceasing or commencing;
  3. Changes in salaried GP’s pensionable earnings during the year not being notified to PCSE so that contributions can be amended.

To avoid theses types of issues arising it is important to submit an amended ‘Estimate of pensionable profits’ form when there is any change in partner / salaried GP during the year.

It is also vital to ensure that PCSE’s records are updated to correctly show which Practice the Partner or salaried GP is attached to on the national performers list.  It is the individual’s responsibility to update their PCSE Online account for any change to their GP status (i.e. partner / salaried / locum) or for any change to their employer and this enables the Practice’s Performer List to be updated with PCSE.  This method replaces the old NPL3 paper (or Microsoft Word) form and should be actioned at the earliest opportunity to give the Performer’s List team plenty of time to liaise with PCSE’s Pensions Team as necessary.  The Practice’s main user for PCSE Online will need to authorise any changes and should also receive a notification from PCSE that the changes have been made to the Performer’s List.  If the Practice does not receive this confirmation then it is possible that the changes have not been made correctly and this should be followed up with the Performer’s List Team at PCSE.  PCSE’s contact details can be found here.

Of course there could also be unexplained PCSE errors in superannuation collections making it just as important to review your Open Exeter statement every month!

February is also the month for submitting annual superannuation certificates which will give rise to end of year (EOY) adjustments for under and over collection of contributions. Make sure your accountant is sending you a summary of the EOY adjustments so that you can monitor the Open Exeter statements for these and liaise with your accountant if these differ to the summary or do not appear at all. The latter could indicate that PCSE are having issues processing the certificate and it is best to make an enquiry as to why this may be sooner rather than later!

If you have not routinely carried out these checks in the past then why not begin to do so as we start a new NHS pension year.

If you need any advice on the completion of the ‘Estimate of pensionable profits’ form, reviewing your Open Exeter statement or raising an enquiry with PCSE

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