Before the big chill has even moved in, it’s starting to feel like the winter of discontent. We advance headlong towards April when the tax rules on pensions are changed yet again. More senior doctors than ever before will be trapped into paying further tax on their pensions’ savings. Without careful planning, many will fall foul of harsh tax charges.

Last month doctors began receiving their annual statement of pension savings for 2011/2012 – some nine months after their tax record for that year had been filed. Many were shocked to find they had saved substantially more in that year than the annual allowance cap. The result could be a very large cheque for the tax man; we’ve been helping one new client who was staggered by a tax bill for £50,000. This is of course on top of the tax they had already paid in that year.

But don’t believe everything in black and white. Upon further investigation, we calculated that some of the figures sent to other clients by the NHS Pensions Agency were wrong. Double check any tax claim before paying or seek expert help. And ensure your finances are in order before the next merry-go-round of changes in 2014.