BMA Goldstone Pension Modeller

Dear Colleagues

RE: SCOTTISH CONSULTANT MODELLER RELEASE

In response to the widespread concerns surrounding pensions taxation matters, the BMA Goldstone Pension Modeller is now available as a member benefit for consultants in Scotland.

The BMA has commissioned this tool with Dr Tony Goldstone. Its accuracy has been independently verified by leading actuaries.

In order to use the tool you will need:

1. A single data point from your March Payslip for each of the past 7 years – i.e., your ‘pensionable pay’ from the Cumulative column – known as ‘SUPER PAY’ when on pre-2015 Scheme and then ‘CARE SUPER PAY’ from 2015 scheme onwards.

If you no longer have these payslips your Health Board Payroll Department should be able to provide this information (although some may charge a small fee). Failing that, the SPPA should be able to provide this information.

2. A single data point from your tax return for the last 3 years – to capture any other income (NHS or elsewhere) that is over and above your pensionable pay (e.g., EPAs, private practice, Category 2 work, savings interest, property income). You need ‘Total Income Received’ from these returns from which you deduct the pensionable pay in any given year to give non-pensionable earnings (this is required for the taper calculations).

If you no longer have this information, you may need to contact HMRC for it.

3. Your annual benefit statements from 2014/15 onwards – you can get these at MySPPA

4. If you have added years, you will need some additional information from your added years contract letter or from SPPA.

Once you have this information you can unlock the pensions modelling tool by entering a password that you will be provided with, then copying and pasting your personal activation code supplied by the BMA. Please do not share this code – it is unique to you. If you have not received the link or need it resent please email membership@bma.co.uk.

The tool is a spreadsheet from which you can launch explanatory videos that will talk you through each tab and how they work.

Once you have entered the minimum data set you will be able to confirm the modeller calculation of accrued pension and service matches those in your annual benefits statement.

You will then be able to use the predictions within the tool to estimate future benefits and annual/lifetime allowance charges as well as Scheme Pays implications for your pension. There are some recognised minor issues with the Scheme Pays calculation within the tool for Scottish Consultants (due to the slightly different way it is calculated compared to  England and Wales) however these should not significantly affect the output.

There are advanced features with explanatory videos that will assist in planning ‘hokey cokey’ (i.e., coming in and out of scheme for optimal benefit).

We very much hope this will be a useful tool for consultants in Scotland – before using the calculator, we strongly advised that you watch the BMA pensions website videos which explain the background of the scheme and tax issues.

After this we recommend you gather your minimum information set and watch the explanatory videos within the tool.

Once you have outputs from the modeller, you should consider independent financial advice for any decisions you may be contemplating concerning your pension.

Please do consider offering feedback through our dedicated portal – we have had very helpful responses to date but are very interested to learn about the impact of the pensions tax issue on you.

Finally, by way of an update, you may have heard that the Supreme Court has declined to consider the appeal of the UK Government to cases won by the Fire fighters and Judges. We are bringing similar action concerning the NHS 2015 pension scheme here in Scotland. The UK Government will now need to bring forward mitigations to address the proven discrimination within the schemes. Whilst these mitigations may lead to impacts on annual allowance and other pensions tax burdens, it is simply impossible to know with confidence what these impacts may be at this stage. We will certainly keep you informed of any developments in this area.

Yours sincerely

Simon Barker

Chair BMA Scottish Consultants Committee

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