March 22, 2022
There are many questions about maintaining your NHS pension as a locum GP. You may be coming out of a long-term job and seeking part time locum work until you retire, and still wish to maintain and contribute to your NHS pension.
Or perhaps you’re a new GP who is undertaking locum work and you want to contribute early to your NHS pension. Here is how you can help maintain your NHS pension as a locum GP.
The NHS Pension Scheme
Navigating your NHS pension can be challenging as a locum GP. It is worth firstly noting that you can only contribute to your NHS pension as a locum if you meet the following criteria.
Become A Sole Trader
If you are seeking to maintain your NHS pension as a locum GP, it is best to become a sole trader, which will require you to register with HMRC. Registering with HMRC as a sole trader will allow for you to still pay contributions to your NHS pension whilst undertaking appropriate locum work. How much of a contribution you pay into your NHS pension will depend on how much of a salary you earn.
Your employer or practice will also make pension contributions to your NHS pension, which is calculated at a rate of 14.38%. You will, however, need to include this on your invoice when billing for any locum work that was carried out.
How To Pension Locum Work?
If you plan to operate as a locum GP in England or Wales, you can still contribute to your NHS pension scheme by filling out what is known as Locum form A and Locum form B.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland, all locum GP work which has been conducted is required to be pensioned if you currently have any other GP work that you are also making pension contributions from.
If you are working as a locum long term in a particular practice or hospital, you can choose to be pensioned as either a salaried GP or a locum.
Restrictions To Maintaining Your NHS Pension
You will not be able to make NHS pension contributions as a locum GP if you are or are planning to be registered as a limited company. Whilst this may work better for some locums if they are earning a sizable salary, and has some nice tax benefits, you won’t be able to maintain an NHS pension.
Locum work which has been carried out via a deputising firm or a locum agency will not qualify as work which you can make NHS pension contributions from. This forces locum GP’s into becoming sole traders and taking locum work directly from the NHS and partnering practices.
Locum work that was completed more than ten weeks prior will also not be classed as work which you can pension.
If you are interested in locum work, visit ThinkLocum