We are receiving enquiries from employers in relation to staff members working on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations and how this will impact pension contributions.
Members being seconded from their regular NHS employment e.g. from surgeries, hospitals or the community, to work within vaccination clinics for the primary care network will continue to be paid by their regular NHS employer. They may be being paid at a different rate to their normal salary (this may be higher or lower depending on their regular role)
The tiered contribution rate continues to be based on the members previous year’s notional whole time equivalent (NWT) rate of pensionable pay. Therefore, if the member receives a temporary pay increase for less than 12 months their tiered rate is not reviewed even though they may be on higher pay.
Whole time (WT) members assisting with coronavirus vaccinations which is performed within their standard WT hours (e.g. not overtime) the temporary pay increase is pensionable. If the coronavirus work is performed in excess of the WT hours the additional income is not pensionable.
Part-time (PT) members assisting with coronavirus vaccinations which is performed within their standard PT hours the temporary pay increase is pensionable. If the coronavirus work exceeds their normal standard PT hours the additional income is only pensionable up to their standard WT working week for the role at the plain rate of pensionable for the secondment. Any income earned in excess of WT is not pensionable.
New members of staff
The NHS Pension Scheme is the default auto-enrolment scheme for employees who are eligible to join it. Therefore, access to the NHS Pension Scheme must be offered to any eligible new employees assisting with coronavirus vaccinations.