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Access to the NHS Pension Scheme

NHS Pension Scheme access details for non NHS organisations.

Which Scheme access application form do you need to complete? (PDF:396KB)

Application Guidance for Pension Direction/Determination

Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) contract, General Medical Services (GMS) contract and Primary Medical Services (PMS) agreement

GMS, PMS and qualifying APMS contract holders

This section relates to any organisation that holds or is bidding for an APMS contract, GMS contract, PMS agreement.

GMS and PMS contract holders

You must contact us as soon as you receive a new GMS or PMS contract as we are your main pension provider.

This should be done by completing the Classic APMS /GMS / PMS contractor form found at the bottom of the page. 

A separate application is needed for each individual APMS contract held.

For each application we require a full signed copy of the contract that was issued by your commissioner (electronic PDF is accepted).

If changes are made to your organisation or contract after you have been approved as an employing authority (EA), you must let us know as the changes may affect the access to the NHS Pension Scheme for your staff.  Changes we need to know about include, but are not limited to, partner changes, shareholder changes, changes to the named contractor, premises changes and changes to the structure of the organisation.  You should also tell us if a practice is closing or a contract is being terminated.

Forms can be found at the bottom of the page to notify us of changes and closures.

Holders of APMS contracts (Classic APMS)

A Classic APMS contractor is a partnership, sole GP provider or limited company that has an APMS contract and is eligible to enter into a GMS contract or PMS agreement.

If the holder of an APMS contract meets the NHS family criteria they must apply for Classic APMS EA status.

NHS family criteria definition

All partners and shareholders must be one of the following:

  • a healthcare professional that is a member of the General Medical Council,
  • a healthcare professional that is a member of a regulated governing body (for example, Nursing and Midwifery Council),
  • a person who is a contractor on another English or Welsh GMS contract or PMS agreement, this can be as a named contractor, a partner in a named partnership or a shareholder in a named limited company,
  • a person that is an NHS employee employed by an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust.

Apply by completing the Classic APMS /GMS / PMS contractor form found at the bottom of the page

A separate application is needed for each individual APMS contract held. 

For each application we require a full signed copy of the contract that was issued by your commissioner (electronic PDF is accepted).

APMS contract holders who do not meet the NHS family criteria and LLPs do not qualify as a Classic APMS contractor however they may apply for access to the NHS Pension Scheme as an Independent Provider (IP).

If changes are made to your organisation or contract after you have been approved as an EA, you must let us know as the changes may affect the access to the NHS Pension Scheme for your staff.  Changes we need to know about include, but are not limited to, extension of contract term, partner changes, shareholder changes, changes to the named contractor, premises changes and changes to the structure of the organisation.  You should also tell us if a practice is closing or a contract is being terminated.

Forms can be found at the bottom of the page to notify us of changes and closures.

Send all forms and enquiries to our Scheme Access team by emailing: nhsbsa.schemeaccess@nhs.net

Classic APMS / GMS / PMS contractor form (Excel: 255KB)

Classic GMS, PMS or (classic) APMS EA changes to contract or organisation form (PDF: 286KB)

Classic GMS, PMS or (classic) APMS EA close EA code form (PDF: 122KB)Please note that the Scheme Access team conducts regular access checks on all EAs and once approved you may at any time be requested to complete a changes form and provide up to date contract information.

Out of Hours

To provide pension administration guidance and instructions to Out of Hours Providers (OOHPs) who are NHS Pension Scheme Employing Authorities.

Out of Hours Application Form (Word:247KB)Out of Hours Application Guide (PDF:195KB)Out of Hours - a provider guide to administering the NHS Pension Scheme (PDF: 366KB)