Generic Notification Service (GNS) messages

23 September 2019

HMRC has updated its ‘Student loan and postgraduate loan repayment guidance for employers’ to clarify when and why it sends out GNS messages and the expected action from employers.


The updated guidance is available on GOV.UK and is also reproduced below for your information:


HMRC will send 3 types of student loan GNS reminders.


One is a reminder to start deductions where:


  • You submit a Full Payment Submission (FPS) for an employee who has a student loan or PGL deduction due
  • The FPS shows a figure of nil

 This GNS reminder is confirmation that HMRC has sent or is in the process of sending you an SL1 or PGL1 ‘Start Notice’ for the employees shown.


The second is a reminder to make deductions using the correct plan type where:


  • You submit an FPS for an employee and have selected the plan type from the drop-down box on your payroll software
  • The plan type declared on the FPS does not match what HMRC hold for that employee

 For each employee shown on the reminder, you should start making the correct deductions from the first available payday. You should look at the SL1 or PGL1 ‘Start Notice’ or completed starter checklist for details of the correct student loan plan and loan type to use. If you do not have either of these, ask your employee the starter checklist questions.


This will allow you to start deductions using the correct plan and loan type.


If you’re paying an occupational pension rather than a salary, you should ignore any student loan GNS message.


The third GNS message, introduced from September 2019, is a reminder to stop student loan or PGL deductions for an employee from the next available pay date.


This GNS reminder is confirmation that HMRC has sent or is in the process of sending you an SL2 or PGL2 ‘Stop Notice’ for the employees shown. This GNS message and the SL2 or PGL2 ‘Stop Notice’ will tell you the correct loan or plan type to stop taking deductions from. If you do not have either of these you can ask your employee.


You will receive these reminders as GNS messages to your Online PAYE account. HMRC recommends that you register for email alerts for these reminders and may contact you to make sure the correct deductions begin.




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