General Medical and Dental Practitioners

If you are a general medical or dental practitioner (including an assistant or associate practitioner or an ophthalmic medical practitioner) on a list of practitioners maintained by a Health Board, you are eligible for membership of the NHS scheme in respect of your pensionable practitioner earnings. Although not direct employees of the NHS, practitioners are treated for superannuation purposes as though they were employees of Health Boards

In general, the same rules and the same range of benefits apply, except that premature retirement and voluntary early retirement with employer’s consent terms are not available.

Benefits are, however, calculated on career earnings not on final salary.  This is achieved by recording your Pensionable Earnings for each year of membership in the Scheme and applying a Revaluation Factor. Your pension is then based on 1.4% (1.87% in the 2008 section)   The resulting figure is known as Total Uprated Superannuable Earnings.  From April 2008 the factors used to re-value your earnings have been 1.5% above the amount of any annual increase due under the Pension Increase Acts. 

Practitioners who have also worked in hospital care or as a GP registrar may also have Pension earned on the final salary method as well as on the career earnings.  Members who have this type of mixed service will have additional calculations applied to their Pension records to ensure that the best results are obtained for them. 

New members to the NHS Scheme from 01/04/2015 (including Practitioners) will join the 2015 scheme. The NHS 2015 Scheme is a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme. This means that will earn 1/54 (about 1.85%) of your pay as a pension pot for each year you are a member of the scheme. So to work out how much pension you will earn in any one year, simply divide your pensionable pay by 54.

At the end of every year the amount you have earned is increased at an above-inflation rate to maintain its buying power. This is currently 1.5% above increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) This continues until you leave the scheme or retire. When you retire, all your pension pots are added together to work out your final pension.

Planning to Retire

When you are planning to retire, please complete the application form which is available in the Forms section.  Although you are self employed within the NHS Superannuation Scheme, you must send this to your employing authority, the Practitioner Services office in your area.  They will complete the Employer's page and send it to your Health Board.  The form will then be forwarded to us.  Please do not send the form directly to SPPA.

As a Practitioner, you may have other employment contracts.  Please complete an application form for each post that is current at the date of retirement.  Please note that if you are a member of the 1995 section of the Scheme you must resign from all employments before you can claim your retirement benefits. 

If you are planning to continue working in any of your posts after you retire, you must take a 24 hour break before recommencing work and can only work up to 16 hours per week for the first month if you do not wish to incur a reduction in your pension.  Please also note that in the 1995 section of the Scheme you cannot make further contribution towards a pension therefore you must ensure that your employer makes no further deductions.

The GP Forms can be accessed on the Guidance & Forms section of the Practitioner Services website.

Guidance for Assistant Medical Practitioners

(Salaried GP's, OOH GP's and Locums)

If you are a Medical Practitioner working as a locum you are required to complete forms A & B and submit to Practitioner Services Division (PSD). The GP Forms can be accessed on the Guidance and Forms sections of the Practitioner Services website.

If you are working as a Salaried GP, OOH GP or Locum it is important to ensure that the correct rate of employee contributions are paid based on your total aggregated practitioner earnings. Further Guidance can be accessed under the Circular 2017/01 on the SPPA website. Included in this circular is the form at Annex D which you are required to complete and pass to your employers.

Contact the Practitioners team.


Link to Scottish Government Website