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Extension of 2020/21 voluntary scheme pays deadline for members with an annual allowance charge

To help support NHS Pension Scheme members who are continuing to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the decision has been taken to extend the voluntary scheme pays deadline for 2020/21.

If you have an annual allowance charge for 2020/21 and you’re wishing to use voluntary scheme pays to pay all or part of this charge, you now have until 31 March 2023 to submit your application.

Scheme pays allows you to ask the NHS Pensions Scheme to pay your annual allowance charge to HMRC. In return, your NHS Pension benefits will be permanently reduced when these become payable or if you leave and transfer out of the Scheme. The NHS Pension Scheme offers both a mandatory and voluntary scheme pays facility.

We do not have the authority to extend the mandatory scheme pays election deadline for 2020/21 as this is confirmed in legislation. The 2020/21 mandatory scheme pays deadline passed on the 31 July 2022.

Submitting your scheme pays application, known as a scheme pays election (SPE2) before the mandatory deadline allows us to consider your election under the mandatory scheme pays facility or a combination of the mandatory and voluntary scheme pays facilities. If paid under the mandatory scheme pays facility, the NHS Pension Scheme is responsible for paying your tax charge to HMRC by their deadline.

If you apply to use scheme pays and we pay some or all of your annual allowance charge using our voluntary scheme pays facility, you remain responsible for the charge until the payment is made and for any interest that may be incurred for payments made after HMRCs tax bill deadline. HMRC’s deadline for 2020/21 was the 31 January 2022.

If you have made a scheme pays election that was received by NHS Pensions after 31 July 2022 which has been returned because it was late and you still wish to have a voluntary scheme pays election, please resubmit your election before 31 March 2023.

You can find more information about mandatory and voluntary scheme pays, how to apply for scheme pays and the deadlines for doing so on our annual allowance webpage.