Employer contribution rates
- England and Wales is 20.6%
- Northern Ireland is 22.5%
- Scotland is 20.9%
Consultations took place to amend the NHS pension contribution tiers in all the nations.
In England and Wales the employee contribution tiers are being amended in phases with the first change implemented on 1 October 2022.
The changes include the removal of the higher tiers, a change from basing officer contribution on Whole Time Equivalent earnings to actual earnings, an alignment with Agenda for Change pay awards and an eventual reduction to 6 tiers:
|Pensionable pay||Pre October 2022 Contribution rate based on whole-time equivalent pensionable pay||Phase 1 Contribution rate from 1 October 2022 based on actual pensionable pay||Phase 2 Contribution rate based on actual pensionable pay|
|Up to £13,231||5%||5.1%||5.2%|
|£13,232 to £15,431||5%||5.7%||6.5%|
|£15.432 to £21,478||5.6%||6.1%||6.5%|
|£21,479 to £22,548||7.1%||6.8%||6.5%|
|£22,549 to £26,823||7.1%||7.7%||8.3%|
|£26,824 to £27,779||9.3%||8.8%||8.3%|
|£27,780 to £42,120||9.3%||9.8%||9.8%|
|£42,121 to £47,845||9.3%||10.0%||10.07%|
|£47,846 to £54,763||12.5%||11.6%||10.07%|
|£54,764 to £70,630||12.5%||12.5%||12.5%|
|£70,631 to £111, 376||13.5%||13.5%||12.5%|
|£111,377 and above||14.5%||13.5%||12.5%|
GPs continue to be subject to annualising in England and Wales which means that actual income is grossed up to that which would be earned in 365 days of the scheme year (1 April to 31 March). Annualising mainly impacts GP locums who do not have an underlying Type 1 or Type 2 role (partner, salaried or Out of Hours GP role) or when a Type 1 or Type 2 GP takes time out of work between employment contracts. Read guidance on annualising (NHSBSA).
Separate officer roles held will initially be viewed separately and the contribution for each role based on the actual annual earnings for each individual role, meaning that different tiered rates could apply where an officer holds more than one role. Aggregating all officer roles, for the purposes of assessing a tiered rate, is being explored.
In Northern Ireland
The first phase of the changes were introduced in Northern Ireland from 1 November 2022:
|Tier||Pensionable earnings||Contribution rate from 1 November 2022 until introduction of phase 2|
|1||£0.00 — £13,246||5.1%|
|2||£13,247 to £16,831.99||5.7%|
|3||£16,832 to £22,878||6.1%|
|4||£22,879 to £23,948||6.8%|
|5||£23,949 to £28,223||7.7%|
|6||£28,224 to £29,179||8.8%|
|7||£29,180 to £43,805||9.8%|
|8||£43,806 to £49,245||10%|
|9||£49,246 to £56,163||11.6%|
|10||£56,164 to £72,030||12.5%|
|11||£72,031 and over||13.5%|
The second phase of the change reducing the tiers to six will be implemented at a date yet to be agreed in 2023 and will be as follows:
|Tier||Pensionable earnings||Contribution rate from introduction|
|1||£0.00 — £13,246||5.2%|
|2||£13,247 to £23,948||6.5%|
|3||£23,949 to £29,179||8.3%|
|4||£29,180 to £43,805||9.8%|
|5||£43,806 to £56,163||10.7%|
|6||£56,164 and above||12.5%|
The current contribution tier structure in Scotland is:
|Pensionable earning band in 2021/2022||Contribution percentage rate from 1 April 2022|
|Up to £21,614||5.2%|
|£21,615 to £25,981||5.8%|
|£25,982 to £32,914||7.3%|
|£32,915 to £66,017||9.5%|
|£66,018 to £92,423||12.7%|
|£92,424 to £123,147||13.7%|
|£123,148 and above||14.7%|
An implementation date for the changes to be applied from has yet to be agreed for Scotland. See the outcome of the consultation.
Pension contributions and tax
Pension scheme contributions are net of tax; therefore the true cost of the contributions is lower than the gross rates quoted above.
For higher rate tax payers, contributions at the rate of 12.5% would equate to a net 7.5%, contributions at the rate of 13.5% would equate to a net 8.1% and contributions at the rate of 14.5% would equate to a net 8.7%.
Part-time doctors were historically allocated to a tier based on their whole-time equivalent pay (apart from GPs, for whom there is no concept of whole-time equivalent). This was because the 1995 and 2008 sections of the NHS Pension Scheme base officer benefits on the whole time equivalent earnings for all officer members (irrespective of whether they work full or part time).
The changes which will be introduced to the contribution structure acknowledge that whilst members retain a final salary link to their protected 1995/2008 section benefits (for so long as they do not have break in service of 5 years or more) their ongoing accrual since 1 April 2022 is in the 2015 Career Average Revalued Earnings NHS Pension Scheme.
Accrual in the 2015 scheme is based on each years actual earnings and service and whole time pay is not relevant. From 1 October 2022 Officer pension contribution tiers in England and Wales are linked to actual pensionable pay and not the notional full time equivalent rate. This is also the case for Officer pension contributions in Northern Ireland since 1 November 2022 and will be from a date yet to be agreed for Officers in Scotland.