Can GP locums pension their travel costs under the NHS pension scheme?

NASGP member BD has raised this very important question, since NASGP's LocumDeck excludes travel costs from the Locum A pension calculation.

The NHSBSA, in its 2017 factsheet for GP locums, states:

Q. Are travel expenses, i.e. motor mileage allowance pensionable?

A. No. Deduct 10% of your gross pay first which accounts for expenses.

So is it just a plain fat 'no'? Does one include one's charges for travel as 'gross pay', or include it? And is NASGP correct in not including expenses i.e. travel costs/mileage in our automated Locum A forms within LocumDeck?

Our advice from Honey Barrett accountants (4th May 2017), and confirmed by their pension experts from the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, has confirmed NASGP's position by pinning down the actual legislation:

1995 regulations, schedule 2, regulation R1, paragraph 6(3):

"In the case of a locum practitioner, "pensionable earnings" means all fees and other payments made to the locum practitioner in respect of the provision of locum services (but excluding payments made to cover expenses or for overtime), less such expenses as are deductible in accordance with guidance laid down by the Secretary of State."

Honey Barrett conclude "...[pensionable earnings] excludes expenses, so just the locum fee x 90% (which is the allowance for expenses as stipulated by the Secretary of State)."

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