Guide for Locum GPs working in England and Wales only.
This guide includes:
- Who can claim NHS Pension?
- Who pays into a locum pension?
- What pension forms should be submitted?
- Form A
- Form B
- What is the monthly submission process?
- The 10-week rule
- Sending multiple Form Bs in one month
- How to submit your forms and payments
Who can claim NHS Pension?
As a Locum GP, you are eligible to join the NHS Pension Scheme if you are on the Medical Performers List and work directly for a recognised NHS employer such as a GP Practice or an Out of Hours provider. There are many Practices that offer pensionable sessions on Lantum and these can be identified by their job descriptions.
Through Lantum, any pensionable sessions applied for and worked as a Sole Trader will be pensionable. Lantum will calculate the pensionable pay during the invoicing process. Please note, however, that you cannot claim NHS Pension when working as a Limited Company because you will not be working directly for the NHS. If you have both Limited Company and Sole Trader profiles on Lantum, you can choose on a session-by-session basis whether you would like to apply as Limited Company or as a Sole Trader, and one reason for applying as Sole Trader is so that you can claim pension.
To be eligible to claim an NHS pension, you must complete the requisite pension forms and send them to your Primary Care Organisation (PCO) with payment for your contributions on time. The following sections in this FAQ provide more detail about the forms, how and where to send them, and how Lantum can help.
Who pays into a locum pension?
GP locum pensions are made up of two contributions:
- the employer contribution
- the employee contribution
When calculating how much pension should be paid, only 90% of income from a session is ‘pensionable pay’. This is because 10% is always set aside as a fixed allowance for expenses, which are deemed to be ‘non-pensionable’.
An employer’s pension contributions are set at 14.38% of pensionable pay. Although a GP Practice is responsible for paying these contributions, it is your responsibility to collect these contributions from the Practice and forward them to NHS England, along with your own employee contributions.
Employee contributions and tiered rates
Calculating the amount of your pension contribution depends on your annual GP income. There are 7 bands of pensionable earnings that correspond to tiers of employee contribution rates. As a GP locum, you are responsible for calculating which rate you should be on, according to your anticipated ‘total GP income’ for the upcoming year.
|Annualised pensionable income
|£0 to £13,246
|£13,247 to £16,831
|£16,832 to £22,878
|£22,879 to £23,948
|£23,949 to £28,223
|£28,224 to £29,179
|£29,180 to £43,805
|£43,806 to £49,245
|£49,246 to £56,163
|£56,164 to £72,030
|£72,031 and above
As all members are in the 2015 Scheme from 1 April 2022, all freelance locum GPs must ‘annualise’ their
income at year-end to set your final tiered rate. The rate must take account of other GP income such as if you are also a salaried GP.
If the provisional tiered rate is incorrect and you underpaid employee contributions, you must pay the arrears
immediately directly to NHS England/PCSE or the Local Health Board (LHB) if in Wales. If you overpaid
contributions, you should claim a reimbursement. If you relocated during the year, you must contact the
Lantum will help you understand which tiered rate and pension scheme version you should select. When providing this information into Lantum on the website, we will point you towards helpful resources that will ensure you enter the right information.
What pension forms should be submitted?
There are two types of pension forms that should be submitted alongside your contribution payments. These are:
- GP Locum A
- GP Locum B
A Locum A form is used to record employer contributions for each pensionable session and allows the employer (e.g. a Practice Manager) to certify that the work was completed by providing their signature on the form.
For all sessions worked through Lantum, and assuming you’ve provided us with all the pension-related information required, we automatically complete a Form A for each session, populating your personal details, the session details and calculating the employer contributions from the pensionable pay. If you have provided us with your signature, we will also sign the Form A on your behalf.
In addition, many Practices have enabled Lantum's ‘AutoSign’ functionality, which e-signs the Form A on the Practice’s behalf as soon as you have been paid for the session and makes it immediately accessible to you. This means there there is no delay while you wait for the Practice to print, sign and send the form back to you in the post or by email. For Practices that haven’t signed up to AutoSign, you’ll need to follow-up with them manually their signed and stamped Form A before it can be submitted. If you have a good relationship with a Practice and they are not signed up to AutoSign, please encourage them to do so as it will save both you and them lots of time!
A Locum B form is a monthly summary of all the pensionable sessions you were paid for in a given month, and is submitted along with all the corresponding Form As as a monthly ‘Pack’. Each month’s employee and employer contributions are recorded on the Form B and totalled, indicating the total amount of pension contribution you must pay that month.
Importantly, the sessions that populate each month’s Form B are based on the payment date of the session, not the date session was worked. E.g., if you worked a session in January and receive payment for that session in February, that session should be included on February’s Form B, not January's. This is because you can only claim pension for work that has been paid for.
In addition to auto-populating the Form A for each session, we will also compile the monthly Form B, for all the previous month's sessions, and make it available to you at the start of every month. Each Form B is presented in a ‘Form B Pack’ along with all the corresponding Form As and provided to you as a single PDF file that you can send to your PCO. We take care of all the confusing Form B submission rules and timeframes, and you will receive an email as soon as you have a new Form B Pack that is ready to be sent, along with the timeframe that you must send it in.
What is the monthly submission process?
When to send
Your PCO should receive your Form B Pack and the actual pension contribution by the 7th of the following month. For example, your January Form B Pack, containing the Form As for all the pensionable sessions that were paid in January, should be submitted to the PCO by the 7th February, along with your payment.
We will provide the correctly populated Form B Pack by the 1st of each month, containing all the signed Form As for sessions that were paid in the previous month - all you need to do is download and submit the Pack to the PCO, along with your payment.
The 10-week rule
One of the most frequently misunderstood stipulations from the NHSBSA states that:
In order to superannuate their income a GP locum […] must send forms A and B and all NHS Pension Scheme contributions to Primary Care Support England (PCSE) or the LHB (Wales) within the 10 week window.
This ‘window’ starts from the date a session was worked at the Practice - unlike the rule which determines in which month's Form B Pack a Form A should be submitted. Once this 10-week window has passed, the work is technically no longer pensionable, which makes late payments or late form signatures from Practices particularly frustrating. Lantum’s automatic pension-form creation, in conjunction with AutoSign, seeks to minimise the risk of late submissions by making the forms available to you as soon as possible.
It is worth noting, however, that if you find yourself on the wrong side of either the “7th of the month” or “10-week” rules, that although the work is technically no longer pensionable, leniency is often shown and we recommend that you continue to submit the appropriate forms.
Sending multiple Form Bs in one month
You can submit more than one Form B Pack in any given month, along with separate corresponding contribution payments, should you need to. For example, if you are paid for pensionable sessions in the same month for work organised both on Lantum and outside of Lantum, you would need to submit multiple Form B Packs. Your Lantum sessions will have a Form B Pack automatically generated for you; however, you will need to create separate Form As and Bs manually to submit the non-Lantum work.
Where to send the Form B Packs
Your pension Form B Pack and accompanying payment should be sent to your PCO, also known as PCSEs (Primary Care Support England) in England and LHBs (Local Health Boards) in Wales. Your specific PCO will correspond with the Area Team or Local Health Board that you are on the Medical Performers List with. If you need help identifying your PCO, you can use the 'Area Team Search' in England or the 'All Wales Medical Performers List' tool in Wales.
How to submit your forms and payments
Please use the online submission service for pensions that can be used in order to:
To access it, visit the 'Contact Us' page on the PCSE website and choose 'GP Pensions' in the enquiries form.
The completion notes found on each GP Locum B form explain how to make BACS and cheque payments for your pension contributions:
If you are a Locum in England you can now submit your payments by BACS.
When submitting your [...] payment by BACs you will need to include a unique identifying reference comprised of the following details:
This reference indicates that you are Dr X and your membership number is 12345678 submitting your Locum form for April 2017.
If your [...] BACS payment does not include the unique identifying reference then your pension record will not be credited with this work.
The bank account details you require can be obtained by calling PCSE on 0333 014 2884.
In England make your cheque payable to NHS England.
In Wales make your cheque payable to the LHB.