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Directional Body Newsletters – Quarter 1 – 2023/2024

Please note this newsletter is provided to Payroll Admins and Finance Managers responsible for administering the Pension Scheme Rules to the officers within Directional Body employments. It is intended to advise and remind employers of procedures for this process and should not be given to the staff themselves.

This newsletter contains information about :

  • Employer Queries for the GP Admin Team
  • GP55A 2022/23
  • Keeping your Accountant updated with any pension related changes
  • J2 and T55a submissions
  • Focus On – Determining the new contribution rates
  • New HSC Pensions GP Practice Admin Workshops
  • Contact Us

This newsletter is available in a downloadable/printable format here.

  • Employer queries for the GP Admin team

    All queries from Directional Body employers should be emailed to and marked FAO GP Admin Team. This allows us to have the most appropriate person to call you back when available. Should you call, the most appropriate person you need to speak with may not be available.

  • GP55A 2022/23

    Thank you to all the Employers who submitted their GP55As by the 12th May deadline. Housekeeping and any outstanding queries are now being processed. The information provided on this annual return is used to update member pension records in preparation for the production of Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) 2023, which should be available on Member Self Service from late August/early September onwards. Any delays in the submission of the form or response to any queries raised will delay the production of the ABS 2023.

    For any members that have joined during 22-23 year and are included in your GP55A, please check that you have already submitted their J2.

    For any member who left in the same period, please ensure that you have submitted their T55a.

    Any forms that remain outstanding will be requested in July/August 2023.

  • Keeping your Accountant updated with any pension related changes

    If an accountant completes or processes any of your returns in relation to the practice staff, please make sure you update them with any relevant information that HSC Pension Service provided to you. We hold a mailing list for accountants and send all relevant information to them.

    However, it is still advisable to make sure they get the information.

  • J2 and T55a submissions

    J2 & T55a forms are required to be sent to the HSC Pension GP Admin Team in a timely manner. The J2 form should be sent no later than 8 weeks after the member joins. The T55a should be sent the day a member leaves the scheme. We are experiencing an increase in the amount of forms received late or not at all. As part of the work needed for the McCloud judgement, significant work is being carried out to update member records and you may be contacted regarding missing forms.

  • Focus On - New Contribution Tiers Guidance

    In November of 2022, the new contribution tiers for employee contributions was introduced. The new structure moved from the old rates based on Whole Time Equivalents, to the new structure based on Actual pensionable pay.

    A new part of this structure was that when a pay awards is given to Agenda for Change contracts, the thresholds used to determine the tiers will also change. This meant in the first year of using the new structures, there were 2 different tables applied. As of 01/11/2022, after the pay award the table below is used to determine a members tier.

    Table 2: Contribution Structure following 2022/2023 AFC Pay Award

    Tier Pensionable Earnings (based on actual salary) Contribution rate (before tax)
    1 Up to £13,246 5.1%
    2 £13,247 to £16,831 5.7%
    3 £16,832 to £22,878 6.1%
    4 £22,879 to £23,948 6.8%
    5 £23,949 to £28,223 7.7%
    6 £28,224 to £29,179 8.8%
    7 £29,180 to £43,805 9.8%
    8 £43,806 to £49,245 10%
    9 £49,246 to £56,163 11.6%
    10 £56,164 to £72,030 12.5%
    11 £72,031 and above 13.5%

    To determine a members rate of contributions, we must determine the actual pensionable pay figure to use. The guidance below should be used.

    If a member follows all of the following criteria:

    • They were part of the HSC Pension Scheme for the entirety of the previous financial year
    • The member received the same rate of pay for the entirety of the previous financial year, after any pay rises occurred
    • The member remained on the same contracted hours for the year.

    Then we will use the actual pensionable pay In the previous year to set the rate.

    If the member does not satisfy each of the above criteria, then we must determine a members rate by working out their annualised actual pensionable earnings (what they will earn in a twelve month period at the current rate of pay and contracted hours).

    To do this accurately, we can follow the below formula.

    [hourly rate of pay] x [ contracted hours] x 52.14 (a full year in weeks)


    Mary only started with the employer on 01/05/2022, they therefore do not meet all 3 criteria, so we must annualise their earnings.

    £15.56 x 25h/w x 52.14 = £20,282.46.

    This puts this member into the 6.1% tier.

    Mid year changes

    We must also remember that any change to the members rate of pay or contracted hours at any point in a financial year will require their tier to be checked.

    This means that if a member satisfied all the criteria above, but got a pay rise on 01/04/20XX, last years actual pensionable pay figure is not accurate any more and we must use the annualised earnings instead.

    The employer must ensure that a members rate of contributions is applied correctly on the payroll. Remember the GP1 form is there to confirm the figures work out correctly. It can only show that there is an error, not what the error is. It is still the responsibility of the employer to ensure that contributions are deducted each month correctly.

  • New HSC Pensions GP Practice Admin Workshops

    Starting in July, HSC Pension Service will begin hosting Online workshops for Practice Managers/Business managers/Payroll admins etc, to provide helpful guidance on how to administer the scheme locally within their practice.

    The topics covered in these workshops will be determined by the participants of the session. Every effort will be made to cover all requested topics, however if time is limited, only the most requested topics will be covered.

    Example topics

    • Auto enrolment
    • J2/T55a/SR1/SR2/POA process
    • GP1/GP55a process
    • AW6 completion (including TSR calculations)

    The workshops are limited to 30 participants each and can last up to 2.5 hours. Should all topics be covered before this, we will hold a Q&A session on any additional queries you may have.

    Spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. We will initially be scheduling 2 sessions per month and will review this based on demand.

    Available times for sessions are shown below:

    Monday 10th July 2023 Start 09.30 – End 12.30
    Tuesday 25th July 2023 Start 13.00 – End 15.30
    Friday 11th August 2023 Start 09.30 – End 12.00
    Wednesday 23rd August 2023 Start 09.30 – End 12.00
    Thursday 7th September 2023 Start 13.00 – End 15.30

    To book yourself into one of the above sessions, please send an email to marked “FAO GP Admin team Workshop” with the following information. *You Cannot Book into a session via telephone call*

    • Name of the participant (s)
    • Practice name and number being represented
    • Session you wish to attend
    • Topic/topics that you would like covered

    A member of our team will confirm via email when your slot is booked. If you then cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can open the space to others who may wish to attend.

    The Workshops will be held on Microsoft Teams. You do not need an account or the application installed on your computer as the link can be opened on a web browser. The link below has a guide on how to join the meeting without an account or App installed.

    Join a meeting without a Teams account – Microsoft Support.

  • Contact Us

    By writing to us at:-
    HSC Pension Service
    Waterside House
    75 Duke Street
    BT47 6FP
    Via e- mail at:-
    By Telephone: 028 7131 9111 Option 3
    10.00 am to 12.00pm / 2.00 pm to 4.00pm – Monday to Thursday
    10.00 am to 12.00pm – Friday

    Employers Technical Updates are available at: Employer Technical Updates
    All newsletters produced this quarter are available at: Newsletters/Updates

    If you have any suggestions for the newsletter or would like a particular topic covered in future publications please do not hesitate in contacting us by emailing: