Locum Pensions / Indemnity / Finances
Getting your finances in order and ensuring that you access the pension scheme are both important aspects of being a successful locum. As a salaried GP the complexity is generally less but you must remember that you need to fill out a Type 2 medical practitioner form each year to ensure that the correct pension contributions are made that cover your entire practice. Please see the links below.
Access to the NHS pension scheme is still available to locums when working for an NHS provider i.e. not through an agency. The onus is on the practitioner to submit the correct payments and paperwork to the NHS Pensions Agency. There are four forms that you need to be aware of:
Pension Form A - Which is filled out for every practice.
Pension Form B which is filled out monthly.
GP solo pensions form
Type 2 medical professional self assessment forms (completed end of tax year)
Below are the new A&B forms which need to be used for all work from 1 April 2017. Please note the employees contribution has increased from 14.3 to 14.38% as of 1st April 2017. Note the new forms require a 'unique reference' made up of your SD number, 3 letters (LOC for locum), 3 letters (e.g. JAN/FEB etc for the month) and 2 numbers for the year (e.g. 17). Without this they may be rejected.
For any questions regarding these forms or payments related to these forms you need to contact the Pensions Agency directly on Tel. 0300 3301 346.
GP Locum Pension Fact Sheet: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/Pensions/GP_locum_factsheet-20160906-(V6).pdf
Tier 2 Medical Professional Self Assessment Form (2016/17) + completion notes - awaited
Timescales for submission of Forms GP Locum A & B
There is a 10 week time scale set for forms to reach the PCSE/FHSA/WSSC and the criteria states “You cannot apply to your Area Team LHS for Scheme membership for any GMS/PMS/APMS period of locum GP work that ended more than 10 weeks before the date they receive the application.” If Locums have not had their Locum A forms signed by the practice, and been paid for the work, they are unable to send their forms in until after the cut off date. It does not seem fair to penalise the Locum for late signing by the practice of the form. GP Locums are requested to stress to the practice the importance of signing the forms. The criteria states “Please pay NHS GP Locums and provide forms GP Locum A within at the most one month of receiving their invoice so that they can calculate their NHS Pension Scheme contributions and forward them to their host Area Team/LHB promptly.” This is also a stipulation set out on the Completion Notes for Locum Form A. If forms arrive after this time scale and the GP Locum A Forms have been signed on time, then the Area Team have to be approached for guidance as to whether these should be accepted.
Locums working at the same practice as either Salaried GP or Principal
Principals providing locum cover at their own practice cannot complete GP Locum Forms A & B as this is not allowed. The Regulations say:- “There are no provisions under the NHSPSA Regulations for a GP Provider to ‘pension’ income as a GP Locum in their own Practice. They should regard this income as additional GP Provider income and declare it as so on the annual Certificate.”
Salaried GPs can only do emergency cover at the practice where they are employed, and this is classed as very short term and must not exceed 6 months or over. If a Salaried GP is required to do more sessions than set out under his/her contract with the practice, then they can do ad-hoc sessions and this will make them a Type 2 practitioner and the practice have to pay the 14%. They cannot complete GP Locum A and B Forms for this type of cover. The Pensions Agency state:
If the practice wish to engage the Salaried GP on a fee based arrangement for this ad hoc work, the Salaried GP is then classed as a Type 2 practitioner and the practice is responsible for the 14% employer’s contributions. This is good news for the GP as it means that, as a Type 2 practitioner they get 24/7 death in service cover from the National Health Service Pension Scheme and they are also cover by the National Health Service Injury Benefits Scheme whilst performing this ad hoc work. GP Locums are not afforded these rights.”
If you have any concerns about the pensionable status of their Salaried or fee based GPs, you should contact NHS Pensions.
Locums performing cover at the same practice for a long period
There are cases where Locums are working in a practice on a month to month basis. This is NOT classed as temporary cover, and they should possibly be employed by the practice as a Type 2 practitioner. The Regulations state:
The NHSPS Regulations state that a GP (who is not a Provider or a Salaried GP) working at a Practice on a regular long term fee based sessional basis is a Type 2 (assistant) Practitioner; i.e. they are treated the same as a salaried GP. They are not a GP Locum even if that GP may be regarded locally as a GP Locum; if in doubt contact Ross Mathieson Pension Compliance Manager”.
Contact Details for Pensions
- GP Pensions email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- GP Payments and Pensions website link – https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/services/gp-payments-and-pensions/
- If submitting pension forms by post, the PCSE address to send these to will be dependent on your home address therefore you will need to contact PCSE to confirm this. This can either be done via the email address above or by contacting the Customer Support Centre on 0333 014 2884
Issues with Capita and what is being done (SGP newsletter update): https://www.bma.org.uk/connecting-doctors/the_practice/b/weblog/posts/capita-and-the-nhs-pension-fiasco-what-is-going-on
For advice on the change in IR35 legislation as of 6 April 2017 for locum doctors, please click here: