Pensions

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Medical clinical director FAQs

Common queries relating to pay received as a Medical or Clinical Director including when it is pensionable and whether it is beneficial to pension it.

Is the additional pay I receive as a result of Medical or Clinical Director duties always pensionable?
If I receive additional pay as a result of Medical or Clinical Director duties and it is paid as a responsibility allowance, is this income pensionable?
If I have been performing Medical or Clinical Director duties but cease to do so before I retire how will this affect my pension?
Is it always beneficial to pension these earnings?
My Medical or Clinical Director duties are not currently pensionable. Can I elect for them to be treated as pensionable closer to my retirement?
My employer does not agree that the payments relating to these duties can be treated as pensionable.  Can the BMA help me?

 

Is the additional pay I receive as a result of Medical or Clinical Director duties always pensionable?

The standard practice is that if you are working whole-time (10 PAs) and undertake Medical or Clinical Director duties in addition to your 10 PA contract, this can only be pensionable if you are paid in the form of a  responsibility allowance. If you are paid additional PAs for the performance of these duties these will not be treated as pensionable. As the treatment of such payments is down to negotiation we recommend you discuss with your employer whether they are prepared to consider any additional payment made for such work as pensionable.

If you are working part-time (fewer than 10 PAs), and undertake Medical or Clinical Director duties, these can be treated as pensionable up to the maximum of 10 PAs.
 

If I receive additional pay as a result of Medical or Clinical Director duties and it is paid as a responsibility allowance, is this income pensionable?

If the allowance is paid and reflects responsibilities undertaken as part of your job plan, within your normal 10 PAs we expect the payment should be pensionable providing it is made on a regular and continuing basis.

 

If I have been performing Medical or Clinical Director duties but cease to do so before I retire how will this affect my pension?

If you are contributing to the 1995 section of the NHS pension scheme then your total pensionable pay is calculated with reference to your pensionable earnings over the best of the last three years usually the 365 days leading up to your retirement or leaving the NHS.

Further information on this is available in our FAQ on 'final pensionable pay.'

If these duties cease more than three years before your last day of service the enhanced pay you received will not be considered for the calculation of your pension.  See question below.

If you are contributing to the 1995 section and give up these duties resulting in a 10% or more reduction in your commitment and pay, then you may be able to apply for voluntary protection of pay. 

Further information on this is available in our FAQ on 'voluntary protection of pay'.

If you are contributing to the 2008 section of the NHS pension scheme then your reckonable pay is calculated with reference to your pensionable earnings over the last ten years leading up to your retirement or leaving the NHS.  Pensionable pay before 1 April 2008 is ignored.

There is a much longer referencing period for the calculation of reckonable pay so any pensionable Medical or Clinical Director duties undertaken in the ten years leading up to retirement may well be reflected in your reckonable pay. 

Further information is available in our FAQ's on 'reckonable pay'. 

 

Is it always beneficial to pension these earnings?

If you are contributing to the 1995 section, and within the last three years of your pensionable employment are in receipt of additional pensionable earnings as a result of performing these duties, then the pensionable pay on which your benefits will be calculated will include these earnings.

If you are contributing to the 1995 section, but are unlikely to continue to undertake these duties in the last three years of your pensionable employment, then the pensionable pay on which your benefits will be calculated will not include these earnings.  In these circumstances it may not be beneficial to pension these earnings if you are already working whole-time. 

If you are working part-time and receive additional PAs as a result of additional Medical or Clinical Direction duties, you can pension additional PAs up to a maximum of 10 PAs per week. This may boost the amount of pensionable service you accrue which may benefit your pension.

Please remember that if  you were to leave, or were to retire early due to ill health, or die in service during a period performing Clinical or Medical Director duties, (or shortly after these duties had finished) and they had not been treated as pensionable, your pensionable pay will not include these earnings.

 

My Medical or Clinical Director duties are not currently pensionable. Can I elect for them to be treated as pensionable closer to my retirement?

If you wish to pay pension contributions on this pay then it is sensible to agree this at the start of the arrangement.

It is not possible to subsequently alter your contract without an objectively justifiable reason for doing so, as the pensions agency may view this a purely an attempt to boost your pension.

 

My employer does not agree that the payments relating to these duties can be treated as pensionable.  Can the BMA help me?

The pension scheme regulations are clear on what income can be treated as pensionable.  If having read this FAQ you believe that you should be able to pension these earnings then please contact the BMA Pensions Department on 020 7383 6166/6138 for assistance.