Tax  

Doctors flock to advice to solve pension tax woes

Scheme pays allows savers to settle annual allowance tax charges of more than £2,000 through the pension fund without needing to find funds upfront.

Individuals who use it will see their benefits adjusted at retirement and will pay interest.

For payments until March 31, 2019, the scheme applies an interest of 2.8 per cent in excess of inflation, which has decreased to 2.4 per cent, plus consumer price index, from April onwards.

Ms Trott said that for those that don’t have the available cash, scheme pays "can be a lifeline".

However, it is difficult to predetermine what the tax charge may be before it is incurred, due to the way in which they are calculated, she warned.

The interest rate isn’t a fixed amount, and as CPI is also variable, it "isn’t easy to give any kind of accurate estimate of the amount of the debit at retirement," she stated.

Ms Trott gave an example of how scheme pays works: A 45-year-old woman with a tax charge of £13,500 in the 2015 pension scheme would see a pension debit based on the fact she has 22 years left until her normal retirement age of 67 years.

The debit to her pension would equate to 13500/10.6 = £1,273.

But despite all the difficulties faced by doctors in their financial planning, Ms Trott believes the "NHS pension scheme is still likely to provide reliable long-term benefits to its members, so opting out without consideration isn’t advisable".

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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