Lack of IT delays GP pension forecasts

GPs are waiting up to a year for pension forecasts because of IT delays, the LMC conference heard.

Pension estimates should be computerised and routinely sent out annually to all GPs, according to BMA pensions committee chairman Dr Andrew Dearden.

Speaking after the LMCs conference, he said: 'That is how it is in the private sector and it should be the same for GPs.'

Dr Alex Freeman (Isle of Wight) told the LMCs conference that the NHS Pensions Agency was too slow to deal with pension queries from GPs: 'I asked for a pension forecast last July and I'm still waiting.'

Dr Dearden said GPs not close to retirement age were 'at the bottom of the pile', and the agency was swamped because of a wave of retirements.

'Many people who put off retirement to benefit from the first three years of the new GMS contract have just retired.'

'There are only a few people who do these pension estimates by hand. They told me they were putting a computer programme in place in May, but they didn't specify which year.'

Speaking after the conference Dr Dearden said: 'Since the new contract came in, more people are asking for estimates and more people are retiring.

'The department needs to hire more staff and become computerised to cope. They need to be sending out estimates annually without people having to ask.'

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