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It was interesting to read your article on pensions (Pulse features, April 23). However, I appreciate it may not be possible to cover every aspect of pension planning in a short article.

One area that was not discussed was the A9 concession, which is peculiar to GPs as a profession. I believe this allows you to forgo NHS superannuation tax relief and fund a private pension which is tax deductable.

This is useful for funding surgery premises, particularly when used in combination with alternate year carry-back (which means you forgo NHS superannuation tax relief in alternate years but maximise your private pension in the alternate years ­ achieving maximum tax benefits).

The other important area not mentioned in your article is the fact that many GPs now work as GPwSI or in PCT roles. PCT income became pensionable in April 2002, but there seems to be a problem for the first two years, where a GP was under a PMS contract and recieving PCT income directly to himself/ herself, this pension is not used in calculations of final pension by the Pensions Agency.

The rules at the agency changed in April 2004, from which time a GP can have two pension pots, ie GP income plus PCT income. It does not apply where PCT income has been added to the PMS contract.

I am still in discussion with my PCT and the Inland Revenue to hopefully bring this to a satisfactory conclusion.

Many of your readers will not be aware of this situation and in 20 years, when they calculate their pension, may not realise this small part is missing.

Dr PA Nathan

Derby PCT

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