Taking a one day break from the 2015 scheme automatically triggers annualisation

NHS Pensions have confirmed directly with NASGP that, with effect from 1st April 2019, annualisation for freelance GP locums pensioning their NHS income in 2015 Scheme (England and Wales) will come into effect if any breaks of any length are taken.

In practice this means that, unless you are locuming from the 1st April 2019 all the way through to the 31st March 2020, and working every day, you will be subject to annualisation under these new rules.

Set your 2015 pension contribution tiers in LocumDeck

Freelance GP Locums

Freelance GP locums who are members of the 2015 Scheme and who are not in pensionable service on 1 April 2019 , or on 31 March 2020, or who have breaks of any length during the year, must annualise their pensionable income to set their tiered employee contribution rate. Therefore all breaks must be factored in by a 2015 Scheme freelance GP when annualising their pensionable income under the 'add then annualise' method when setting their tiered rate.

Freelance GP locums who are members of the 1995 Section or the 2008 Section are not subject to annualising. Their tiered rate in year 2019/20 is based on their aggregate GP pensionable income.

Salaried GPs

Salaried GPs are subject to the same annualising rules as freelance GP locums. That is, if they are 2015 Scheme members they are subject to annualising and if they are 1995 or 2008 Section members they are not.

This means, for example, if a 2015 Scheme salaried GP commences their first pensionable post on 10 April 2019 (i.e. has non-pensionable service of nine days) and remains in continuous pensionable employment until 31 March 2020, they would annualise as follows;

  • Actual 2019/20 salaried GP pensionable income ÷ 356 days pensionable service in 2019/20 x 365 days

Portfolio GPs

2015 Scheme portfolio GPs (i.e a GP who is both a salaried GP and a freelance GP locum in 2019/20) are subject to annualising. In accordance with the ‘add then annualise’ rule they must aggregate their total GP pensionable income in 2019/20 and divide this amount by actual days of pensionable service, and then multiply by 365 days. For example, if a 2015 Scheme salaried GP has a pensionable post from 10 April 2019 until 31 August 2019 (144 days) and then has several freelance locum GP posts from 1 November 2019 until 31 March 2020 totalling 90 days pensionable service, their total pensionable service in 2019/20 is 234 days. They would annualise as follows;

  • Actual 2019/20 portfolio GP pensionable income ÷ 234 days pensionable service in 2019/20 x 365 days

1995 or 2008 Section portfolio GPs are not subject to annualising.

More information

NHS Pensions will be publishing detailed annualising guidance (including a calculator) for all types of GPs in the Practitioner webpage of its website.

2 Responses

  1. Gavin mcbride
    Your comment* The guidance on NHS pension website (that you are directed to from the new 2019 locum forms) is still saying a ‘break’ in service between locum posts is one that is longer than 3 months. Very confusing!
  2. You contacted nhs pensions and NHS England today, both of who had no idea about this and were not able to advise me further. Is it possible to update nhs England and NHS pensions on what they should be advising us on this latest draft / information? They had no clue about the annualisation for 1 day's break from work / even citing regulation changes. It leaves me frustrated.

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