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GPs to pay pension scheme levy as DH pushes ahead with plans

The Government is set to go ahead with plans for NHS employers to pay a levy for managing the NHS pension scheme.

The cost to GP practices is estimated to be an average of £23 per employee who is a scheme member but the GPC has negotiated for this to be refunded as part of the 2017/18 GP contract uplift.

The Government intends to raise £35m a year via the levy, to pay for the administrative work relating to handling of pension contributions on behalf of employers.

In responding to opinions expressed during a consultation that closed in January, the Department of Health said that  ‘whilst the levy might appear to create an unnecessary financial loop, it serves to more precisely lodge the cost with those to whom the benefit accrues’.

It added that in considering the levy, NHS England had ‘recognised the impact for GP practices and factored that in as part of the additional expenses uplift in the 2017/18 contract negotiations’.

The consultation response concluded: ‘The Department will proceed to introduce a levy of 0.08% of pensionable pay from 1 April 2017. Scheme regulations will be finalised and laid before Parliament in March.

‘The levy will be collected at the same time as the standard employer contribution. In practical terms this means the employer contribution rate will increase from 14.3% to 14.38% from 1 April 2017.’