Pensions General practitioner

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GP flexibilities for transitional members FAQs

Transitional members

This section is relevant to you if you have joined the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme and you also have membership in the 1995 and 2008 sections of the Scheme. It covers the following guidance:

GP flexibilities for transitional members
Ill health retirement for transitional members
Mental Health Officers joining the 2015 scheme
Redundancy for transitional members

 

The following guidance is for doctors who work in primary care and explains how the secondary care service accrued before joining the 2015 scheme will be treated.

 

I am a GP.  How do I build benefits in the 2015 scheme?

The 2015 scheme is a Career Average Revalued Earnings scheme for all members. There will no longer be any GP flexibilities after joining the 2015 scheme. All pension accrual in the 2015 scheme is based on 1/54th of each year’s pensionable earnings irrespective of whether you are a GP or not.

 

How will account be taken of my pre-2015 scheme 'secondary care' service?

The GP flexibilities that you had up to the date of joining the 2015 scheme are protected. Please refer to the 'GP pension flexibilities FAQs' (1995/2008 scheme).

The following guidance explains how secondary care service accrued before joining the 2015 scheme will be treated.

 

How will the protected GP flexibilities work? 

On moving to the 2015 scheme you will be credited with a Flexibility Value Earnings Credit (FVEC). This represents any officer service you had which did not automatically convert to practitioner service. On retirement the protected 1995/2008 section secondary care service will be the greater of:

The FVEC revalued from your last day of service in the 1995/2008 section to your last day of service in the 2015 scheme (or your last day prior to a five year break or more) by an annually set Government Actuary’s Department factor.

or, 

A separate secondary care pension (excluding any secondary care service which has to convert to practitioner) using the final salary link (or pay leading up to a break of five years or more).

 

What is the final salary link?

Protected 1995 and 2008 section benefits will continue to be linked to salary after moving to the 2015 scheme. For protected secondary care (final salary) membership this will be achieved by calculating the value of any protected secondary care benefits against pay at the time of retirement. This final salary link will only be lost if you have a break in pensionable service of five years or more. For protected practitioner (career average revalued earnings) membership this link will be achieved by continuing to dynamise pre-2015 scheme earnings up until retirement. This protection will only cease if you have a break in pensionable service of five years or more.

 

How is the Flexibility Value Earnings Credit (FVEC) calculated?

The formula is as follows:

(F - P) / A

F = total pension benefits in the 1995/2008 section up until your last day of service in that section (31 March 2015 or later if you had tapered protection) including the application of the GP flexibilities.

P = practitioner benefits only in the 1995/2008 section up until your last day of service in that section (31 March 2015 or later if you had tapered protection) including any secondary care service which has to convert to GP service.

A = the appropriate accrual rate for the section to which you belonged i.e. 1.4% for the 1995 section or 1.87% for the 2008 section.

Where you had no practitioner service prior to moving to the 2015 scheme the value for P will be nil.

 

I plan to become a GP but have no practitioner service prior to joining the 2015 scheme.  Will I be credited with a Flexibility Value Earnings Credit (FVEC)?

Yes. When you first become a GP a FVEC will be calculated using the following formula:

F / A

F = secondary care benefits up until your last day of service in the 1995/2008 section (31 March 2015 or later if you had tapered protection) calculated against your secondary care pay up to when you last ceased working in secondary care (since joining the 2015 scheme).

A = the appropriate accrual rate for the section to which you belonged i.e. 1.4% for the 1995 section or 1.87% for the 2008 section.

The above formula will produce the FVEC for members with no practitioner service before moving to the 2015 scheme. The FVEC will be revalued from your last day of service in the 1995/2008 section to your last day of service in the 2015 scheme (or your last day prior to a five year break or more) by an annually set Government Actuary’s Department factor.

On retirement the protected 1995/2008 section secondary care service will be the greater of:

The FVEC revalued from your last day of service in the 1995/2008 section to your last day of service in the 2015 scheme (or your last day prior to a five year break or more) by an annually set Government Actuary’s Department factor.

or,

A separate secondary care pension using the final salary link (or pay leading up to a break of five years or more) revalued by Pensions Increase (the effective date being the day after the last secondary care post ceased).

 

Which type of secondary care service is always converted to GP service?

If you worked concurrently in secondary care and primary care and your secondary care service produced less than 365 days of scaled service (where part-time service is reduced to its full time equivalent) this will automatically be converted to GP service and will be included in the 'P' element of the FVEC formula.

 

What is the Government Actuary’s Department factor for revaluating the FVEC?

This is currently set at 2% each year, pro-rata for a part year. The Scheme Actuary will review the rate as part of the four yearly scheme valuation cycle.