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GP Locums and the NHS Pension Scheme

As of 1st April 2013, GP practices in England and Wales have become responsible for the employer’s pension contributions of the locums they engage. These payments had, until then, been made by Primary Care Organisations (PCOs)...

All practices are responsible for funding the employer contributions. However, the administrative process is such that locums themselves must pass on the employer contribution for any pensionable income to their local Area Team at the same time as they pay their employee contributions. The Department of Health has stated that it expects locums to invoice practices with a separate charge for the employer’s pension contribution, on top of their fee...

Click here for further advice and guidance from the BMA. 

Answers to common questions asked by locum GPs including:

  • Can I join the NHS pension scheme?
  • How much do I need to pay into the scheme?
  • I have incorrectly assessed my tiered contribution.  What happens now?
  • Who pays my employer contribution?
  • If I am working less than whole-time at one practice does the six month rule apply?
  • How do I pension my GP locum earnings?
  • Are there any restrictions on my ability to pension genuine GP locum work?
  • I have worked for six months at a practice, how long before I can locum there again?
  • Can I opt out of contributing to the NHS pension scheme?
  • How will my benefits be calculated at retirement?
  • Which is my host Primary Care Organisation?
  • I am a GP Partner. Can I pension my locum earnings?
  • I am a Salaried GP. Can I pension my locum earnings?
  • I am a GP locum but I also work as an appraiser. Can I pension these appraiser earnings?
  • I am a GP locum and have set myself up as a limited company. Can I pension my NHS earnings?
  • As a locum can I pension any maternity break or other absence?
  • Am I eligible for death in service benefits?

2015 Pension Scheme - Annualising of Practitioner Income

This issue was raised by the Sessional Subcommittee meeting, as a new addition to the locum A and B forms. There are parts to this that apply to all practitioners who do additional work (i.e. partners who locum, salaried doctors who locum), or practitioners transitioning between roles and taking a break in service.

Please see the BMA guidance: 


Updated on 02 August 2018, 1727 views