Pensions

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Maternity, paternity and adoption leave FAQs

I am a Secondary Care doctor. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?
I am a GP Principal. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?
I am a salaried GP. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?
What benefit is there to repaying contributions to cover an unpaid period?
I am a GP locum. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?
What if I plan not to return to work after my leave?
What happens if I originally intended to return to work but subsequently decide not to after my leave commences?
I have made contributions during my leave but have decided not to return to work. Can I have a refund of these contributions?
How are my pension contributions calculated?
Are pension contributions payable if I am only entitled to Maternity Allowance?
Do I have to pay pension contributions in respect of a period of unpaid leave?
If I did not make contributions during a period of unpaid leave can these be repaid at a later date?
What if I cannot afford to pay contributions whilst on unpaid leave?
What happens if I do not pay contributions to cover an unpaid period?
At what rate is the employer contribution payable during my absence?
At what rate do I pay contributions towards my added years contract?
At what rate do I pay contributions towards my additional pension contract?
Are 'keeping in touch’ (KIT) days pensionable?
What if I retire during a period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave?

 

I am a Secondary Care doctor. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?

Yes, as long as pension contributions are paid to cover the leave period. If you are entitled to maternity, paternity or adoption pay, your employer will continue to deduct contributions on the pay you actually receive. If you go onto nil pay, the contributions will be based on the amount of pay received immediately prior to the start of the unpaid period.

When you return to work following maternity, paternity or adoption leave, your employer should arrange for any contribution arrears to be collected.

 

I am a GP Principal. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?

Yes, as long as you continue to receive your share of the partnership profits, then normal pension contributions will be deducted on the amount of pay you actually received during the leave.

GP Principals can elect to pay contributions in respect of any unpaid maternity, paternity and adoption leave periods. The contributions during the nil pay period will be based on the amount of pay received immediately prior to the start of the unpaid period.

 

I am a salaried GP. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?

Yes, as long as you continue to receive pensionable NHS earnings (including Statutory Maternity Pay). During a period of paid maternity, paternity or adoption leave your dynamising sheet will continue to record the earnings you were receiving immediately prior to your leave.

Salaried GPs can elect to pay contributions in respect of any unpaid period in a similar way to Secondary Care doctors.

 

What benefit is there to repaying contributions to cover an unpaid period?

This period will be treated as continuous pensionable employment.

For Secondary Care doctors, your service will be credited as if you did not have an unpaid period.

For GP Principals, your dynamising sheet will be credited with your full share of partnership profit as if you did not have unpaid period.

For Salaried GPs, your dynamsing sheet will be credited with unreduced contractual earnings as if you did not have unpaid period.

 

I am a GP locum. Is my maternity, paternity or adoption leave pensionable?

No. GP locums are not able to continue to pay pension contributions during a period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave. Locums are only able to contribute to the scheme while they are actually working.

 

What if I plan not to return to work after my leave?

Your pension contributions will continue to be deducted from the pay you actually receive. Your last day of scheme membership will be the last day you paid pension contributions.

 

What happens if I originally intended to return to work but subsequently decide not to after my leave commences?

If you change your mind and decide not to return to work, the last day of pensionable membership will be the date on which contributions ceased.

 

I have made contributions during my leave but have decided not to return to work. Can I have a refund of these contributions?

No.  A refund is only possible if you have been contributing to the scheme for less than two years in total. Your last day of scheme membership will be the last day you paid pension contributions.

Please refer to the Refunds of contributions FAQs for further details.

 

How are my pension contributions calculated?

You will continue to pay the same percentage contribution as applied immediately before your period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave began. The contributions are payable as follows:

  • When in receipt of full pay: contributions are payable on full pay
  • When in receipt of half pay: contributions are payable on the half pay
  • When in receipt of statutory maternity pay: contributions are payable on the amount actually received
  • When on unpaid leave: contributions are based on the rate of pay immediately before the period of unpaid leave began.

 

Are pension contributions payable if I am only entitled to Maternity Allowance?

Whilst Maternity Allowance itself is not pensionable you are able to contribute to the scheme in the same way as if it were a period of unpaid leave. In these circumstances the rate of contribution is based on your pay immediately prior to commencing any maternity leave period.

 

Do I have to pay pension contributions in respect of a period of unpaid leave?

It is not compulsory to make pension contributions during unpaid leave. If you would prefer not to then you must notify your employer prior to your pay reducing to nil.

 

If I did not make contributions during a period of unpaid leave can these be repaid at a later date?

If for some reason your employer has failed to collect contributions during your leave then these can be repaid but it must be done within a reasonable timescale. Your employer should be informed as soon as possible after return to work to make the necessary arrangements.

However, if you notified your employer that you did not wish to make contributions during the unpaid period these may not be allowed to be repaid at a later date.

 

What if I cannot afford to pay contributions whilst on unpaid leave?

In these circumstances arrangements can be made through the employer to pay the arrears on return to work. The arrears have to be repaid within a reasonable amount of time agreed between you and the employer.

 

What happens if I do not pay contributions to cover an unpaid period?

This period will not count towards your pension benefits and you will not be considered an active member of the scheme.

 

At what rate is the employer contribution payable during my absence?

The employer contribution is based on full pay throughout your leave.  This is the case even if your pay reduces or stops during the leave period.

 

At what rate do I pay contributions towards my added years contract?

If you are buying added years you will continue to pay contributions based on your pensionable pay immediately before the period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave commenced.

For any period of unpaid leave, added years contributions remain deductible at the rate of pay immediately before the period of leave started.

 

At what rate do I pay contributions towards my additional pension contract?

If you are buying additional pension you will continue to pay contributions based on your pensionable pay immediately before the period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave commenced.

For any period of unpaid leave, additional pension contributions remain deductible at the rate of pay immediately before the period of leave started.

 

Are 'keeping in touch' (KIT) days pensionable?

Yes. Contributions will be made on the pay received for the KIT day(s). Thereafter, the rate of contribution will return to that immediately prior to the KIT day(s).

Any part day worked is taken as a full day for pension purposes.

 

What if I retire during a period of maternity, paternity or adoption leave?

If you are a Secondary Care doctor and benefits become payable during a period of reduced pay or unpaid leave, pensionable pay will be calculated as though no reduction in pay had occurred.

If you are a Primary Care doctor and benefits become payable during a period of reduced pay or unpaid leave, your dynamised income will reflect the correct position depending on whether you are a GP partner or a salaried GP.