NHS pensions for GPs and other NHS staff are different and complex. We would recommend you consult the NHS Pensions Agency website for up to date and informative advice on your pension. There is also guidance explaining the different schemes that you may have membership to.
You may also be interested in our webpage for 24 hour retirement for GPs.
NHS Pension member contribution rate changes come in force on 1st October 2022. NHS Employers have created this handy poster with the previous and new rates on, that you might find use. You can read more about these changes on the NHS Employers website. and raise awareness amongst your practice staff wish this key messages poster
See - NHS Pensions
There are three key changes in the emergency coronavirus legislation relating to NHS pensions.
- The 16-hour rule was relaxed for doctors taking 24-hour retirement.
- The rules on pension abatement were lifted.
- The requirement for some pension scheme members to reduce pensionable pay by 10 per cent if they continue working was suspended.
The 16-hour rule restricted those in the 1995 section of the NHS Pension Scheme to working a maximum of 16 hours per week during the month following 24 hour retirement. There is now no restriction.
Following the end of the COVID-19 outbreak, a six-month notice period will be given to staff and employers at the end of which the suspended regulations will take effect again. Staff and employers will therefore have six months’ notice to readjust their working patterns, where necessary.
Pension abatement affects members of the NHS pension scheme with ‘special class status’, for example GPs with Mental Health Officer status. Special class status allows these members to retire at age 55 years without a reduction in their pension benefits. However, between the ages of 55 and 60, they must not earn more, including their pension benefits, than they did immediately before they retired. This earnings restriction has now been lifted.
Members of the 2008/2015 pension scheme who had elected to draw down a proportion of their benefits and continue working previously had to reduce their pensionable pay by 10 per cent. This requirement has now been suspended.
NHSBSA have produced a helpful FAQ sheet to cover each of the three changes.
Partners owning premises and Retirement
A number of GPs own their premises, and it is often wise, therefore, to include in the partnership agreement that; 'when a partner retires or leaves a partnership they are obliged to sell their share to the partnership/incoming partners.'
However, we would suggest this is a specialist area and would strongly recommend taking formal advice and check the most up to date Premises Cost Directions.
For most individual pension queries, though we may be able to help with guidance in some instances, we would generally suggest you seek expert, independent financial nad or legal advice from an adviser familiar with GP practices and finance.
- BMA guidance on pensions.
Resource Details for Pensions
- Year-End Pension Guidance including links to the relevant forms - https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/services/gp-pensions/support/
- Queries relating to pensions you need to use the PCSE Online Enquiries Form
- GP Pensions website link – https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/services/gp-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 it. This can either be done via the online enquiry form or by contacting the Customer Support Centre on 0333 014 2884
PCSE Guide for GPs and non-GP partners planning to retire
PCSE have worked with key stakeholders to produce a new guide (2022) for GPs and non GP Partners who are planning to retire or take 24 hour retirement.
The NHS Pension Scheme Retirement Guide for GPs and non GP partners, found here, explains the six key steps of the process NHS Pension Scheme members whose pension contributions are administered by PCSE need to follow if they wish to claim NHS Pension retirement benefits.
The guide also sets out the timeline for each of the steps in the process and includes some helpful Top Tips. We recommend that GPs and non GP Partners read the guide in full, 12 months before the date they plan to retire.
PCSE recognise that the end to end process to claim NHS Pension retirement benefits is complex and they say are committed to improving the experience for GPs and non GP Partners at this important time.
Working After Retirement
The effect of returning to NHS work (including a Direction Body) after retirement depends on which Section of the NHS Scheme you are a member of and what your last day of pensionable employment was.
If you return to NHS employment or re-employment that is in respect of the provision of NHS services or in respect of the delivery of NHS funded services before your normal pension age your pension may be subject to a reduction. This is known as “abatement”. Whether your pension is reduced or not will depend on the level of your earnings whilst re-employed. This will also depend upon when you left the Scheme, when you claimed your pension benefits and the type of pension benefits claimed. Abatement rules cease once you have reached your normal pension age of the Section or Scheme from which you have claimed your pension benefits.
GPC UK on Annualisation within the 2015 NHS pension Scheme
Podcast: Planning for Retirement and Pensions - 1st April 2022
Dr Andy Purbrick speaks with Dr Gareth Bryant about planning for retirement and practical advice around pensions.
Click on the image below to access the podcast.