GP Provider’s and non-GP Provider’s NHS Pension Scheme responsibilities

News Article

26 August 2016

A GP Provider or a non-GP Provider is a person who is a GMS, PMS or APMS contractor. They are either a single-hander, partner or a shareholder.

The following information outlines a GP Provider’s and non-GP Provider’s basic legal responsibilities as a Scheme member and also as an employer. All of the forms referred to in this article are available to download from the Practitioners page of our website.

Certificate of pensionable income

A GP Provider and a non-GP Provider must complete an annual Certificate declaring their pensionable income.

A GP Provider must complete an annual Certificate in respect of every GMS, PMS and APMS contract they are a party to. A non-GP Provider is only required to complete an annual Certificate in respect of one GMS, PMS and APMS contract even if they are party to several. This is because they can only pension income in respect of one contract.

The Certificate must be completed and sent to the Employing Authority within 11 months of pension year end (for example, the 2015/16 Certificate must reach the Employing Authority by 28 February 2017). The 2015/16 Certificate will be available soon.

Equal partnerships

Where a surgery partnership has equal partners the surgery based pensionable pay for each partner (regardless of if they are a GP partner or non-GP partner) is the aggregate surgery based pensionable pay divided by the number of partners. That is, for equal partners their surgery based pensionable pay is the same.

Therefore where an equal partnership consists of GP partners and non-GP partners the surgery based pensionable pay for a non-GP partner cannot exceed the surgery based pensionable pay of a GP partner.

The total NHS pensionable pay for a GP partner may be higher if they perform external NHS GP pensionable work such as out of hours.

Estimate of pensionable income and Scheme contributions 

Prior to the start of a pension year every GMS, PMS, or APMS contractor must notify their Employing Authority of the estimated pensionable income for all the GPs (excluding freelance GP locums) and non-GP Providers. This is so that Scheme contributions are paid ‘on account’.  Where a Provider holds several GMS, PMS, or APMS contracts they must complete an estimate form in respect of each.

The estimate form must reach the Employing Authority one calendar month before the start of the pension year (for example the 2017/18 estimate form must reach the Employing Authority by 28 February 2017).

GP Providers and non-GP Providers must pay over (to their Employing Authority) all Scheme contributions in respect of themselves and their salaried GPs within seven days of month end. Top slicing contributions from the monthly budget ensures that the seven day deadline is met.

GP Providers performing  NHS work outside of their surgery

Where a GP Provider performs (ad hoc) NHS GP type work outside of their surgery on a self-employed basis, such as OOHs or CCG work, they must pension this income using the GP SOLO form unless they elect for the income to be paid directly to their surgery; i.e. pooled income.   

Where a GP Provider is formally employed by a CCG or a hospital they are an Officer in NHS pension terms.

Salaried GPs

GP Providers and non-GP Providers must collect Scheme employee, Added Years and Additional Pension contributions from their salaried GPs on a monthly basis and forward these, along with the employer contributions, within the seven day deadline.

 Freelance GP locums

Where a surgery engages a freelance GP locum who wants to pension their income both parties shall agree a rate. Once the rate is agreed the surgery must pay an additional 14.3% in employer contributions and complete their part of form A.

The surgery must give the GP locum the 14.3% employer contributions. The GP locum, in turn, sends these along with their employee contributions to their Employing Authority along with forms A an B.

Surgeries must pay GP locums promptly as they only have a ’10 week window’ in which to pension their income.

The GP locum’s Employing Authority (i.e. NHS England’s regional teams/ delegated CCGs, or Local Health Board) or agents acting for the Employing Authority must provide the GP locum with a receipt upon request.  

 Practice Staff

GP Providers and non-GP Providers must collect Scheme employee, Added Years and Additional Pension contributions from their Practice Staff (i.e. non-GP salaried employees) on a monthly basis and forward these, along with the employer contributions, directly to NHS Pensions within 19 days of month end.

GP Providers and non-GP Providers in their employer role must keep accurate and up to date pension records.