Doctors have been threatened with eviction, left without a pension for a year and unable to finalise wills following Capita pension errors, the BMA has heard.
The BMA’s annual conference was told that the failings had been ‘hugely detrimental’ to members and a motion was passed calling on the Government to investigate and compensate doctors who became ill as a result of Capita’s handling of pensions.
Doctors at the annual representatives meeting in Belfast yesterday voted for the motion that also called for a ‘tax amnesty’ for doctors facing excessive bills due to Capita failing to deal with their pensions properly.
Pulse reported last week that Capita’s administration of the performers list had led to GPs fearing that they would be hit with pensions bills.
As part of its contract, Primary Care Support England – run by Capita – is responsible for administering entry and status changes to the performers list on behalf of NHS England.
Yet since it took over the responsibility, there have been problems in maintaining the list.
This has led to a fear that employer’s pension contributions have been taken incorrectly, which would potentially mean GPs exceeding their tax allowances without realising it and being hit with penalties.
The meeting voted for the motion, which called on the Government and NHS England to:
- Finish its contract with Capita;
- Declare a ‘tax amnesty for doctors facing excessive tax bills due to Capita failing to forward their pension contributions for several years;
- Investigate and compensate GPs who have become ill as a result of Capita’s failings;
- Compensate GPs who have not been able to retire due to Capita’s inability to manage pensions.
Dr James Murphy from the South Central region, who supported the motion, said: ‘I’ve been speaking to Dr Nick Grundy who is a GP working with grassroots GPs and has been instrumental in trying to assist GPs in making sense of this emerging scandal. Through his experience of working with the BMA and lobbying the Government and NHS England on this, he has come across some truly heartbreaking examples where the loss of data has been hugely detrimental to our members.
‘Take for example the doctor who retired with ill health – no pension for an entire year because his pension information had gone missing. How about the terminal cancer patient unable to finalise their will before their death before their pension data had gone missing? And the doctor threatened with eviction because he was unable to provide the court with pension data during the divorce settlement case.’
He added: ‘But to dwell on those tragic cases is to miss the more widespread low-grade cases where GPs’ time and energy is being wasted in submitting, resubmitting and resubmitting again paperwork when it get lost.
‘The end result is a situation where doctors are in effect subsidising a pension system that is being run on a shoestring, the inevitable result of NHS England handing the contract to the lowest bidder.
‘While NHS England might be saving perhaps £25m a year or whatever it is, what are the additional costs placed on doctors performing all this additional mind-numbing, Kafkaesque bureaucracy?’
MOTION IN FULL
Motion by SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONAL COUNCIL: That this meeting demands that NHSE and Government stop prevaricating and take action to:-
i) terminate, or at least sanction, the contract with Capita due to its catastrophic failings in dealing with GP pension contributions;
ii) declare a tax amnesty for doctors facing excessive tax bills due to Capita failing to forward their pension contributions for several years and then the backdated contributions are found to exceed the annual or lifetime allowances;
iii) investigate and, where necessary, compensate doctors who have become ill as a result of Capita’s failings in handling their pension contributions;
iv) compensate doctors who have not been able to retire due to Capita’s inability to manage their pension contributions.