The GP pension form you never completed
Salaried, OOH and long term locum GPs have just 28 days left to submit the Type 2 Medical Practitioner Self Assessment of Tiered Contributions Pension Form
The intention of this blog is to worry you about the existence of another pension form you were unaware of. This is unlikely to lift burning-out GP spirits or cancel the pain of your indemnity bill or take away your irritation of having to write letters for patients to take to the council regarding the colour, size or shape of their wheelie bin.
Before getting into the detail of the Type 2 Medical Practitioner Self Assessment Form of Tiered Contributions, I’ll recount my own story. Like many GPs lost in the maze that is NHS pension administration, I too had no clue about this form and especially not the NHS Pensions website statement that ‘it is the law’ that GPs annually complete this form.
A few years back, out of the blue, I received an official letter ordering me to complete this as a requirement of my salaried GP role (a paper copy was kindly provided). Administrative heartbreak turned to joy when I realised I was due a refund of several hundred pounds. Posting it with a hopeful heart, I waited for the cheque to arrive but my only reward was silence.
Months passed until I found the will required to spend a little spare time on pension administration again, phoning the pensions officer to give them a little reminder about my big refund. The result was not a happy reunion with my cash but a stone-walling from a burnt-out administrator who had been fully trained up to bungle doctor’s pension schemes. They insisted that I was not due any such refund and lied about the figures on my form. By the end of the conversation I was prepared to pay to get rid of this person’s rudeness from my life.
Most of you will have persisted but I am weak, and so, the years went by with my pension scheme an unattended area, like one of those roadside verges choking with dandelions that people tread on carelessly or use to throw their cigarette butts.
Finally a day came when I happened to examine my payslip from my salaried job. Imagine my alarm when I realised I was paying thirty percent of my pay in pension contributions. Thirty percent! A quick calculation revealed I had overpaid my pension by thousands and thousands of pounds.
This was sufficient to stir me out of pension administration hibernation. The practice manager knew exactly who to speak to – an administrator who still had the ounce of morale left needed to help me. News came quickly – I was due a refund of £7500. Hurrah! But, there’s no free ride when it comes to NHS Pensions. Could I just complete the last 7 years of Type 2 Practitioner Assessment Forms? Then, and only then, could I be reunited with my cash.
Imagine the pain of rifling through those shoe-boxes of P60s. Yet surely I did with my prize in sight. But what of that one self assessment form I had already completed? This had mysteriously vaporised within the system.
The pain was all worth it for a refund of £7500. This year, type 2 GP practitioners have just 28 days left to complete the form for the last financial year.
Type 2 medical practitioner assessment form: know the facts:
What is a Type 2 practitioner?
Salaried GPs employed by a GP practice, APMS contractor or by a Local Health Board; Locums working for a GP practice, APMS contractor, Local Health Board for a period of, generally, six months or more; GPs who work solely on an employed or self employed basis for an Out of Hours Provider that is not an NHS Trust/Foundation Trust.
A GP who is formally employed by a CCG under a contract of service (i.e. contract of employment) is an Officer and their contributions and salary are not declared on the self assessment form. However, if they are a practice based salaried GP and they work for a CCG under a contract for services (i.e. on a self employed basis) they must declare theirCCG earnings/contributions on the self assessment form.
Completion of the form enables you to confirm if you are paying the correct employee contribution tier. Your earnings may be such that you are owing contributions, leaving your pension with a shortfall. Alternatively, you could be due a refund.
Submission of this form also ensures that your pension contributions have been logged.
The BMA sessional GP committee are currently conducting an investigation with test cases as to the consequences of not submitting this form.
Forms need to be submitted 11 months following the end of the financial year. The deadline for the 2015/2016 tax year is 28th February 2017.
Forms should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Primary Care Support England, PO Box 350, Darlington, DL1 9QN.
Read here for further guidance.
Dr Claire Davies
GP and editor of the Network Locum (now Lantum) blog
Network Locum (now Lantum) is a GP app and website for connecting directly with practices old and new, and managing all session related admin.
We work alongside the NHS who recognise our tech as a solution to efficiently connecting all supply and demand. We are a GP-led health tech start-up whose mission is to support and empower GPs throughout their profession. Join us today.