Who can contribute to a practitioner's pension?

There are many different types of practitioners who work in Scotland's National Health Service and, as a consequence, have access to the occupational pension schemes administered by SPPA on behalf of the NHS in Scotland. 

If you have multiple NHS practitioner employments, your pension contributions must cover all of your NHS practitioner contracts.

Which types of practitioners can contribute to the NHS Scheme?

If you're working as either an employed or self-employed GP, Dental Practitioner or Ophthalmic Practitioner, you can join the NHS Pension Scheme, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

Medical General Practitioners (GPs) who can contribute

Principal GPs: self-employed partners within medical practices, who report earnings through GAC to PSD (Medical).

Assistant GPs: Out of Hours GPs in hospital settings; salaried GPs within a practice; self-employed GP locums  reporting earnings to PSD using the A & B forms.

GP shareholders in limited companies: GP shareholders in limited companies can pay contributions on their individual NHS earnings but not on dividends from the limited company.

General Dental Practitioners who can contribute

Principal Dental Practitioners: if you're registered with NHS General Dental Services and have a valid list number and work either as a single handed dentist in practice or as a partner within a practice, you can join the scheme.

Assistant Dental Practitioners: if you're registered with NHS General Dental Services and have your own list number but don't own, or have a partnership, in the practice, you're eligible.

Dental practitioners working for 'Dental Bodies Corporate': this covers dental practitioners who are registered with NHS General Dental Services (GDS) as an individual who is carrying out NHS work. You'll be able to contribute to the NHS Scheme only on the earnings from the work you've carried out for the GDS. You'll be listed as an Assistant for pension purposes and your pensionable remuneration will be determined by the Health Board. You can't pay contributions for any continuing care and capitation payments for patients registered with a listed Dental Body Corporate. In addition you can't pay contributions on any dividends received as a partner of the Dental Body Corporate.

Note: A listed dentist who is a shareholder in a Limited Company can pay pension contributions on what they've earned as an individual from GDS but not on any dividends received from the limited company.

Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners who can contribute

Opthalmic Medical Practitioners: are qualified Medical doctors who are on the General Optician Services (GOS) and carry out eye examinations on behalf of the NHS. They report their earnings for the work that they do for the NHS to Practitioner Services (Dental Payments).

GP Locum (Self-employed)

If you are a self-employed GP Locum who will often provide short term cover within a number of GP practices, you are classified as an Assistant GP.

As a self-employed GP you are responsible for completing your own A&B forms and then sending them to your PSD. You can gain access to the forms through the Practitioner Services Department. These forms must be sent into Practitioner services by the 7th of every month. If you have not completed these forms after this date then please contact your PSD. Once these forms have been processed then SPPA will receive the annual return and the relevant information will be loaded onto your record.

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