Prompt Completion of Pension Forms
We are aware of problems regarding the late submission of Pension Forms, and thought it would be useful to remind practices of the NHS Pensions Agency 'rules' surrounding timescales for submission.
Timescales for submission of Forms GP Locum A & B
If you have any questions then please contact the Pensions Agency on 0300 3301 346.
Please be aware that the Pensions Agency have (again) changed their Locum A and B forms.
The new forms require a ‘unique reference’ made up of your SD number, 3 letters ‘loc’ for locum, 3 letters for the month and 2 characters relating to the year (these details are repeated in the guidance attached to the forms).
They have stated that these forms should be used for pay pensionable from April 2017 onwards and that forms that do not have this unique referencing number will not be credited to your pension.
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.
As you may already know the Employers contribution for the NHS Pension scheme has increased from 14.3% to 14.38% as of 1 April 2017.
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”.
Process for submitting forms
If you have an NHS.net email address, you can submit your payment by BACS and your paperwork via the enquiries form. You will need to enter your NHS.net email address when prompted.
You should use Locum Form B to generate your unique identifying reference (UIR) and then input this on the Locum Form A and your BACs submission. Your unique identifying reference is comprised of the following details:
Membership (SD) number - your GP pension scheme number: 8 characters
details of the form this relates to: 3 characters
month: 3 characters
year: 2 characters
Your unique identifying reference (UIR) number on Form A should match the UIR on Locum Form B and on your BACS submission
If you do not have an NHS.net account then you must submit your paperwork via post to:
Primary Care Support England,
PO Box 350,
If you do not have an NHS.net email account you can still pay your contributions by BACS, but you must remember to include your unique identifying reference, or the work will not be credited to your pension record
If your locum forms do not include your unique identifying reference, then the work will not be credited to your pension record.