When working as a locum doctor, one difference is that you must pay your own tax, national insurance and pension contributions. Any locum doctor that is not working as a limited company or not retired needs to fill in pension forms A and B (these can be found in PDF format on the NHS Business Services Authority: form A, form B). Submitting these forms triggers your scheme membership of the NHS Pension Service. Make sure you’re using the new versions which are for jobs performed after April 1st 2013.
What’s the change?
Since this date, it is the GMS practice that is responsible for paying employer’s contributions rather than the PCT so the forms must be submitted to them and you will also be paid by them. You need to complete form A for each practice you do work for, and form B on a monthly basis. These forms can be difficult to understand at first, so this is a comprehensive guide to filling them in.
Can I contribute to an NHS pension?
You can contribute into the NHS pension scheme as a locum doctor if you’re on the Medical Performers List of a Primary Care Organisation and you’re working directly for an NHS GMS, PMS, APMS practice, an OOH provider or a PCO.
How do I fill in my forms?
Form A needs to be completed for every job. Fill in all the boxes in part 1, including your national insurance numbers, former host PCT or current LHB, registration number and the dates you worked for the Employing Authority. Then sign and date this section.
Leave part 2 blank and either email or print and post the form to the relevant practice. Send a copy of form A to each practice you do work for. You will receive a payment from them which includes the fee and the pension contribution back from the practice. The new form makes it clear that the pension contributions are in addition to the fee.
Form B only needs to be completed once a month and is a record of all the pensionable pay you’ve received in this period, which is 90% of your freelance locum fees.
Fill out all your personal details. These are necessary to contact you in case there is a problem with your form.
In part 1 you will have to identify your contribution tier, which depends on your earnings in 2012/13. To find the appropriate tier level, check page 2 of the NHS factsheet. This depends on all of your earnings as a GP, not just locum work.
In the table below this, you will need to fill out each row with the details of the work performed. You should refer to form A for each job. Your pensionable pay is 90% of the fee. The employer contribution 14% of this amount, or 12.6% of the total fee.
In part 2
box a: add up the total locum GP pensionable pay excluding NHSPS contributions
box b: take the number from box a and multiply by the percentage stated in your tiered contribution rate
box c: if you are not buying added years, ignore this box. If you are buying added years, multiply the number from box a by your added years additional fixed percentage rate.
box d: If you are not buying NHS MPAVCs ignore box d. If you are buying NHS MPAVCs enter the amount in box d
box e: enter the total previous three boxes (b, c and d) in this box
box f: enter the total amount of employer contributions. This is the total of the far right column
box g: add box b to box f to find the total employer and employee contributions
Leave the last part of the form blank.
Where do I send my NHS GP locum payment cheque?
At the end of each month you need to send all forms A and form B, along with a cheque payable to ‘The NHS commissioning board’ in England sent to your local area team/primary care support unit or to the Local Health Board in Wales and sent to the LHB. This cheque needs to include the 14% monthly employer pension contributions.
You must complete both these forms within 10 weeks of the job. You cannot claim NHSPS membership for any freelance GP locum work that is more than 10 weeks old.
Further information on pensions from the BMA: http://bma.org.uk/practical-support-at-work/pensions/faq-locum-gps