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Accountants fear GP claims on pensions

Medical accountants fear proposals under the new contract for them to certify GPs' NHS income for their annual pension contribution will lead to a wave of legal claims.

Accountants believe the claims could result if they underestimate practice income and therefore superannuable earnings. They warned they would have to put up fees to GPs to cover added extra insurance costs unless the requirement under the contract is removed.

David Clough, chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said practices should be able to produce the information. 'Why does this need a third party to confirm what the superannuable income should be?' he said.

'If they push the responsibility on to a third party we will end up with potential negligence claims unless what they come up with is very simple.'

Dr Simon Fradd, chair of the BMA superannuation sub-committee and GPC joint-deputy chair, said the requirement was not signed off and could be addressed in implementation. He said: 'We are discussing the potential for forms to be prepared by accountants and signed by GPs.'

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