Pay by instalments Direct Debit
A new pay by instalments option for the Annual Retention Fee has been introduced to support dental professionals who pay their own fee by enabling them to spread the cost over the year with quarterly Direct Debits.
For dental care professionals (DCP) this will be four Direct Debits of £28.50. For dentists this will be four Direct Debits of £170.
To take advantage of the option in 2021, DCPs need to log in to eGDC and select the quarterly Direct Debit option no later than 31 May 2021. Dentists who wish to pay their ARF by instalments will be able to select this option later in the year.
Quarterly Direct Debit is one of the simplest ways to pay your annual retention fee (ARF) and provides you with a number of advantages.
1. You can spread the total cost of the ARF in four equal payments over the course of the year.
2. You will be protected by three important safeguards:
- An immediate money back guarantee from your bank in the event of an error.
- Advance notice if the date or amount changes at any time.
- The right to cancel at any time (although, in the event of a cancelled Direct Debit, registrants will need to pay the remainder of the ARF. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for further information).
3. Your payments are made automatically. This will ensure that your fee is never forgotten.
4. Once your Direct Debit is set up, you won’t have to contact us to make a payment or write a cheque each time your ARF is due.
Key dates for DCPs: Pay by instalments Direct Debit
We will write to DCPs in June 2021 with information about their annual renewal.
|Pay by instalments Direct Debit set up deadline||Quarter one Direct Debit payment date||Quarter two Direct Debit payment date||Quarter three Direct Debit payment date||Quarter four Direct Debit payment date|
|Midnight, 31 May 2021||The quarter one Direct Debit will be taken on or around 2 July 2021.||The quarter two Direct Debit will be taken on or around 1 October 2021.||The quarter three Direct Debit will be taken on or around 10 January 2022.||The quarter four Direct Debit will be taken on or around 1 April 2022.|
Please note that you will be notified of the exact instalment dates at least 10 working days before we claim the first instalment by Direct Debit.
Key dates for dentists: Pay by instalments Direct Debit
|The key dates for dentists’ pay by instalments Direct Debits will be set later this year. We will also write to dentists in November 2021 with information about their annual renewal.|
How to set up a quarterly Direct Debit online
You can set up a quarterly Direct Debit on eGDC. If you do not have an eGDC account you will need to create one first. An eGDC account allows you to manage your registration online. You can also use it to update your contact information, set up, cancel or amend the next years’ ARF Direct Debit and log your continuing professional development (CPD) hours.
Is there a charge for accessing the pay by instalments option?
There is no additional charge for paying the ARF by instalments.
Can I pay other fees (e.g. specialist list, registration application fee, registration fee) by instalment?
The pay by instalments option is only available on the ARF.
We pay our employees’ ARF in bulk. Can we pay quarterly?
Not at this time. We are planning to explore the demand for, and feasibility of, offering an instalments option for employer bulk payers and will provide updates on this as that work progresses.
Why can’t I pay monthly?
The quarterly pay by instalments option was decided upon as this represents a good balance between making a significant difference to the amount dental professionals need to pay in one go, while keeping costs associated with running the scheme to appropriate levels. A monthly option would cost significantly more to administer and, as the GDC’s income is generated almost entirely by the ARF, this is a cost which would ultimately be met by registrants.
What happens if I miss an instalment payment?
If an instalment is missed, the remaining balance for that year becomes payable by the end of the month in which the instalment fell due. Should that deadline also be missed, individuals may be removed from the Register and, as is currently the case for removals due to non-payment, professionals will need to apply for restoration.
In cases of removal and subsequent restoration, the pay by instalments option will not be available for two ARF cycles (i.e. two years) from the point of removal. For the very small number of professionals who hold both dentist and DCP registration, this exclusion will apply to all categories of their registration.
When opting to pay the ARF by instalments, registrants are entering into an agreement to pay the full ARF. The removal of access to the instalments scheme for two years for those who have not upheld that agreement is designed to prevent repeated breaches, and the associated costs.
I currently pay my ARF by annual Direct Debit. Do I need to cancel this to opt into pay by instalments option?
No, you just need to go onto eGDC by the Direct Debit ‘setup’ deadline and select the 'quarterly Direct Debit' option. This will update your existing Direct Debit.
Can I opt in to pay by instalments at a later date if I don’t want to this year?
Yes. For each ARF cycle there will be a deadline by which you will need to have signed up via eGDC. For dental care professionals the deadline this year is 31 May 2021. For dentists the deadline will be in October 2021, and the specific date will be confirmed in due course.
Can I pay instalments by cheque/post, by card on eGDC, any other methods?
The pay by instalment option is available by Direct Debit only.
Can I opt out of the pay by instalments option in future years?
Yes. Changes to your payment method need to be made by the deadline each year. For dental care professionals, the deadline to cancel a Direct Debit is 28 June 2021. For dentists the deadline will be in November 2021, and the specific date will be confirmed in due course.
I’ve changed my bank account. What should I do?
Do not cancel your Direct Debit. If you change bank accounts mid-ARF cycle, you will need to use the bank switching service offered by your new bank account provider which will update your Direct Debit automatically. If you cancel your Direct Debit, there is no way to manually set up a new one mid-ARF cycle, and the remainder of your ARF balance will be payable by the end of the month in which the instalment fell due.