Essential pension housekeeping every doctor should do.
One of the best investments you can make? Not property, shares or even cryptocurrency ;-). No, it’s the NHS pension. There’s been a lot of publicity around the NHS pension recently and it’s not without its faults or pitfalls. But some doctors have opted out of the pension, often without taking proper advice. If you have opted out of the pension without taking proper financial advice, you need to get some advice IMMEDIATELY. For the VAST majority of doctors, the pension remains a valuable part of overall pay package and opting out should only be done in exceptional circumstances, after taking specialist advice.
Each year, the NHS provides each member of the scheme with a Total Rewards Statement (TRS) The TRS statement is the absolute minimum annual check ALL doctors should make on their pension. If you haven’t done so already, set up your TRS account now and check it carefully. It is easy to do online
When I set mine up in 2009, I noticed an error on my statement, which if not rectified, could have cost me thousands of pounds at retirement. Ever since then I have each annual TRS statement, up until 2016 when capita took over management of GPs’ pensions!
Get your TRS statement NOW. Check the figures VERY carefully. Mistakes in pension records are very common and unless you or your financial adviser spot them, they are likely to prove costly. Keep the TRS statement safe, it could be the only record you have of one of the best investments you can make.
Our blog contains a dedicated NHS pensions section
The NHS pensions website is a very good source of information
This week’s goals
1 – This week may seem short, but it is VITAL you keep an eye on your pension. If you haven’t ever seen your TRS statement, that’s a red flag and you need to get the statement immediately.
2 – If you have opted out of the pension scheme without taking specialist advice, that’s also a red flag and you need to consult a specialist adviser immediately.
3 – Have a good read of the articles on our blog that help you determine whether you have a pensions tax charge.