In the 1995/2008 NHS pension scheme, there is an officer scheme and a practitioner scheme. In the officer scheme, an individual’s tier is based on their whole-time equivalent (WTE) income. A practitioner's tier is based on actual earnings. The Government has tried to apply this WTE rule to practitioners in the 2015 scheme, but the regulations are extremely complicated.
Essentially, this regulation means that certain members – those who have transitioned to the 2015 scheme and who have taken breaks within the pension scheme year – may have to tier their pension contributions at a higher rate based on their annualised earnings, rather than their actual earnings.
We have withdrawn our guidance on annualisation until we obtain further clarity from NHSBSA as to the legitimacy and application of these regulations.
Further to the agreement not to penalise anyone who returns the Type 2 certificate late, the Department for Health and Social Care has agreed that annualising should not apply (in relation to the completion of the 2016/17 Type 2 certificate) to long-term locums who have worked beyond six months in one practice and were previously deemed to be locums for the first six months and type 2 GPs thereafter. If you have been required to annualise your earning due to this rule alone, you can resubmit your form and your contribution tier will be corrected and any overpayment repaid to you. Read the statement from NHS pensions.
If you are in the 1995 or 2008 scheme you do not have to annualise your pensionable earnings – the tier you pay is based on your practitioner earnings. Having raised this as a concern the Type 2 form has been updated to include a tab for these members.
We have many unanswered questions about these unfair regulations, and NHS Pensions’ responses are unclear on how they are being applied. Until we receive clarification, we suggest directing all queries about annualisation to NHSBSA, which administers the scheme: [email protected]
For other pension queries, please contact the BMA pensions team: [email protected]
We are currently in the process of seeking legal opinions on the options available to us to challenge these regulations.
Read the BMA's latest statement regarding annualisation