Pensions General practitioner

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Annualising of 2015 scheme practitioner contributions

The practice of 'annualising' income earned by GPs was introduced for GPs by the NHS Pension Scheme Regulations in April 2015.

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The BMA has never agreed to the practice of annualisation and we disagree with the way that the regulations are being interpreted and applied, including the manner in which NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) have revised their guidance.

The BMA is not satisfied that the consultations on this particular aspect of the scheme changes were sufficiently rigorous or adequate. That is, specifically annualisation was not brought to the Scheme Advisory Board or Technical Advisory Group prior to its implementation.

The Equality Impact Assessment that was carried out was unsatisfactory because it failed, in our view, to consider at all the potentially discriminatory impact of annualising.

As soon as we became aware of how the Regulations were being interpreted and applied we began representing members individually and attempting to engage with Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHSBSA to represent the profession as a whole. This work is ongoing.

According to the DHSC, annualising is intended to bring GPs in the 2015 scheme in line with all other scheme members and they currently do not agree that the principle as a whole should be withdrawn.

As a result, we have had to withdraw our guidance whilst we seek further clarification from the DHSC and NHSBSA and seek our own legal opinion.

As soon as we are in a position to provide clear guidance on the workings of annualising we will look to replace the previous guidance.

Read the latest guidance for sessional GPs on NHS pensions and Capita