NHS BSA extends voluntary scheme pays deadline

The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) has extended the voluntary scheme pays deadline for 2018/19 by five months to 31 March 2021.

NHS BSA said that it was “sympathetic to the situation” that NHS staff are in during the Covid-19 pandemic and wanted to support NHS Pension Scheme members who are front line healthcare workers.

The voluntary scheme pays deadline for 2018/19 had already been extended once, from 31 July 2020 to 31 October 2021, and has been extended again after “careful consideration”.

No changes were made to the mandatory scheme pays deadline, which remained at 31 July 2020, as NHS BSA said it had no authority to do so as it is confirmed in legislation.

Last month, Royal London urged the government to “urgently clarify” scheme pay rules to ensure that NHS workers had “breathing space” to resolve their tax affairs.

The firm has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care seeking clarification as to whether NHS scheme members who miss the mandatory scheme pays deadline will be able to benefit from the ‘breathing space’ of the voluntary deadline concession.

In the deadline extension announcement, NHS BSA stated: “Where a member is accepted for voluntary scheme pays, the liability for the charge and any interest payable on the charge remains with the member.

“NHS Pensions will not pay the interest charge on late payment of an annual allowance charge.”

If an NHS Pension Scheme member has an annual allowance charge, they can either pay the charge directly to HMRC or share the responsibility for the payment with NHS Pensions using scheme pays in exchange for a reduction in pension benefits.

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