This site is intended for health professionals only

Practices urged to get processes right to avoid locum GPs losing pensionable work

by Emily Roberts
26 July 2023

Share this article

Practices that haven’t assigned a member of staff to approve pension forms submitted by locum GPs have been warned their locums could miss out on pensionable income.

Primary Care Support England (PCSE) has also issued a reminder to practices that pensions paperwork for locum GPs must be approved by them in a ‘timely manner’ in order to meet the strict deadlines in place.

Otherwise, they risk the sessions worked by their GP locums not being pensionable.

Practices are required to approve Locum A forms completed and submitted via PCSE online by their locum GPs.

This online system calculates contributions automatically based on the income and tier rate entered and provides locums with a clear record of all forms they have submitted. Additionally, practices can see all forms they have approved.

To complete the approvals process, practices first need to have a member of staff assigned to the role of ‘GPP – Locum Approvals’ within PCSE online.

However, the PCSE pensions team has said its records show some practices don’t have anyone designated as locum approvers. It has now written to those surgeries to say this means they are unable to complete the relevant pensions paperwork needed by locums and that the work GPs locums do for them ‘will not be pensionable’.

The letter, sent out earlier this month, includes a guide on how practices can assign a team member to the GPP – Locum Approvals role and advises that more than one person is given this responsibility to avoid delays in the processing of paperwork.

The letter also warned about the 10-week rule for GP locums, which was suspended during the pandemic but reinstated last October by NHS Pensions,. This states that locums cannot pension sessions worked at a practice that are more than 10 weeks old.

‘Any forms received after 10 weeks cannot be pensionable so will be rejected,’ the letter from PCSE said.

It added: ‘Practices are reminded that they have a responsibility to approve Locum A forms completed by a Locum GP (and make payment to the GP) in a timely manner to ensure the GP can comply with the 10-week rule set by NHS Pensions. It is therefore essential to ensure your practice has multiple staff with the ‘GPP – Locum Approvals’ permission on PCSE Online’.

Practices can ‘quickly and easily’ assign the role, according to PCSE, which has published a user management guide and a YouTube video explaining the process.