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Directional Body Newsletters – Quarter 4 – 2023/2024

Please note this newsletter is provided to payroll admins/finance managers responsible for administering the pension scheme rules to the practice
staff within directional body and OOH employments.

It is intended to advise and remind employers of procedures for this process and should not be given to the staff themselves.

The HSC Pension Service will distribute a relevant member newsletter that should be given to staff.

This newsletter contains information about :

  • Contribution Rates – Phase 2 Contribution Tiers
  • GP55A – Annual Return 2022/23
  • Pensionable Employment Termination
  • Local Administration of Pension forms.
  • Contact Us

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

  • Contribution Rates - Phase 2 Contribution Tiers

    The DoH have acknowledged that as an agreement has not yet been met in implementing the 2023/24 AFC pay award, they are not in a position to have the new employee pension tiers in place from 1 April 2024 as they will include the uplift for the 2023/24 Agenda for Change (AFC) pay award in addition to an uplift for CPI from 01/04/2024 moving forward.

    The DoH have however confirmed that their plan is still to implement the reduced tiers from

    01/04/2024, but the legislation will be made later in the year 2024/25 with retrospective effect.

    The DoH have also acknowledged that they are conscious that for administrative purposes it would be much easier to be calculating contributions from the updated figures from 1 April 2024.

    As such the figures in the table below are the ones which are expected to be agreed.

    It is important to note, that whilst it is most unlikely that any change will take place, these figures will not be finalised until the legislation is in place. You may therefore have to amend any revisions you have made to your payroll, if the AFC pay award is amended from what is expected.

    As previously mentioned in the DoH consultation for the new HSC Pension Scheme contribution rates, the employer contributions will move to 23.2% from 01/04/2024. This increase of 0.7% is liable and due from 01/04/2024, and will be reflected in the new GP1 from April 2024.

    Please see the previously used tables

    Table 1 – Contribution Structure following 2022/23 AFC Pay Award applicable for year 2022/23

    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%

    Table 2 – Contribution Structure following 2023/24 AFC Pay Award – applicable for year 2023/2024

    Tier Pensionable Earnings (based on actual salary) Contribution rate (before tax) 
    1 Up to £13,246 5.1%
    2 £13,247 to £17,673 5.7%
    3 £17,674 to £24,022 6.1%
    4 £24,023 to £25,146 6.8%
    5 £25,147 to £29,635 7.7%
    6 £29,636 to £30,638 8.8%
    7 £30,639 to £45,996 9.8%
    8 £45,997 to £51,708 10%
    9 £51,709 to £58,972 11.6%
    10 £58,973 to £75,632 12.5%
    11 £75,633 and above 13.5%

    Table 3 – New phase 2 tiers and thresholds after 23/24 pay award and CPI uplift.

    Tier Pensionable Earnings  Contribution rate from introduction of legislation
    1 Up to £13,259 5.2%
    2 £13,260 to £26,831 6.5%
    3 £26,832 to £32,691 8.3%
    4 £32,692 to £49,078 9.8%
    5 £49,079 to £62,924 10.7%
    6 £62,925 and above 12.5%
  • GP55a - Annual Return 2023/24

    The GP55a to finalise 23/24 year is due by 17th May. The team will complete checks on the submission and the information will be used to update member pension records in preparation for Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) 24. Further information about the progress of ABS24, will be provided in June 2024 Newsletter.

    Points to note about your GP55a submission.

    • You must complete additional information on the GP55a tab of your GP1 incorporating GP55a before submitting to HSC Pension Service. Please see separate correspondence sent by GP Team.

    • You must submit your GP55a as a separate email from your GP1 submission, confirming the additional information above has been completed. If this step is not completed, your email will be returned and marked as non submission until the correct submission is received.

    • You should check the practice checker page for any errors and aim to resolve before sending to HSC Pension Service.

    • You should check that each months GP1 has no missing information.

    • You may receive a query email from the HSC Pension Service GP admin team regarding your GP55a. Please reply to this email as soon as possible to avoid any issues.

  • Important information relating to Applications for Consideration for Ill Health Retirement

    Members can only be considered for “In Service Ill Health Retirement” if they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Scheme Regulations.

    This means that a member must be in HSC pensionable employment at the date HSC Pension Service makes the decision that the member has been accepted as meeting the criteria for either Tier 1 or Tier 2 Ill Health Retirement.

    If a member’s contract of employment is terminated, prior to the assessment date for consideration for Ill Health Retirement, they cannot be assessed as an in service application which can have an impact on the criteria to be met and benefits payable. This is applicable to all scheme members including practice staff, GP’s and partners etc.

    Please ensure all stakeholders responsible for employment/partnership contracts etc. are aware of the rules governing In Service Ill Health Retirement and review and amend your procedures if necessary. Please also ensure that all scheme members within your organisation, where termination of contracts is possible/likely as a result of ill health are informed in sufficient time of the rules and the timeframes relating to applications for consideration for In Service Ill Health Retirement.

  • Local Administration of Pension forms

    It is the responsibility of the employer that all pension forms are completed and sent to the HSC Pension Service as soon as possible to allow for the efficient upkeep of pension records.

    J2 & SD77—Should be completed with the members HR starter paperwork (J2 by employer, SD77 by member) and submitted within 12 weeks of starting. This will be processed within 1-6 weeks by our team.

    T55a—Should be completed by the local payroll admin and HR team and submitted to HSC Pension Service no later than 1 week after the member leaves. This will be processed within 2 weeks of being received by our team.

    EST1 – Illustration of Pension Benefits – his should be completed by the local payroll admin team and submitted immediately. The form will be processed in line with the current SLA guidelines, which can take up to 12 weeks.

    AW6—Application of Pension Benefits – the member should complete parts 1-9 and submit to their employer 4 months before their intended retirement date. Employer completes parts 10-13 and submits as soon as possible to HSC Pension Service. The application will only be processed in the month that payment is due.