How to work out your contribution rate

The contribution rate for GPs, dentists and opthalmic practitioners is determined by your actual aggregated earnings across all your NHS practitioner contracts, not by your whole time equivalent earnings.

There's an important distinction between how practitioners' pension contributions are calculated compared to regular NHS officers who are directly employed. For officers working part-time, the contribution rate is determined by their whole time equivalent salary. For practitioners, it's only based on actual earnings. 

Contribution rate for practitioner members from 1 April 2022

Pensionable earnings in current year Contribution rate
Up to £21,614 5.2%
£21,615 to £25,981 5.8%
£25,982 to £32,914 7.3%
£32,915 to £66,017 9.5%
£66,018 to £92,423 12.7%
£92,424 to £123,147 13.7%
£123,148 and above 14.7%

How to inform your employer of your contribution rate when you have multiple employments

If you have more than one employment contract, you'll have to complete the Form applicable to Assistant Practitioner and salaried GP Practitioners. It can be found in our annual circular which is usually published in February each year.

Each of your employers need to complete the Estimate of your annual earnings section along with your start and termination date before the start of each financial year.

Once this has been completed by each of your employers, use your estimated aggregated earnings from all of your employments to determine your contribution rate. You'll also have to provide your employers and SPPA with a copy of your Estimate of your annual earnings form.

Assistant practitioners and salaried GPs

Assistant and salaried GPs (including locums who are not principal GPs) are required to ensure that earnings from all NHS employments are taken into account when setting their pension contribution level.

This form must be given to all your employers for completion and a completed copy returned to SPPA by 1 May each year. It can be found in our annual circular which is usually published in February each year. This form does not apply to GP providers, GP registrars, or freelance GP locums. A copy should also be retained by the employer (including PSD for locums).

Self-employed Principal GPs with additional Out of Hours GP posts

The payroll department will place you on a 9.5% contribution rate for your Out of Hours GP post. You'll need to declare this income on your GAC form and PSD will make any adjustment required.

Dental Practitioners (Principal)

Practitioner Service Department (PSD) (Dental Payments) will ensure that the correct contribution rate will be applied to your contributions.

Dental Practitioner (Assistant)

Please complete the FC21 application form. You should include the agreed salary, payment of fees and any other regular payments made in respect to the provision of NHS Dental Services. Don't include payments made in respect of bonuses, expenses or overtime.

The total amount claimed cannot exceed the agreed amount of remuneration for the assigned list number.

Dentists working/part of a Dental Bodies Corporate (I need help and with the limited company for a GP)

You can join the NHS Superannuation Scheme if you have joined the relevant NHS Board dental list and you are carrying out work for the NHS General Dental Services (GDS).

The work that you are carrying out for GDS will be superannuable.

Over-paid pension contributions

If you discover that you've over-paid in your pension contributions in any given financial year, follow the appropriate action outlined below.

Assistant/Salaried GP

If you only have one employment, inform your employer that you've over-paid and they'll refund any over-paid contributions.

If you have more than one salaried employment, you'll need to contact all of your employers and inform them of your new contribution rate. You'll have to complete an additional Form applicable to Assistant Practitioner and salaried GP Practitioners. It can be found in our annual circular which is usually published in February each year. Each individual employer will have to refund you for each individual employment.

Principal GP

If you've over-paid, any adjustments will be made when PSD is processing your GAC form.

Dentists (Assistant and Principal)

Dental Payments will refund any overpayment in your contributions.

However, if you've discovered that you've over-paid in your contributions and the financial year has passed, you'll have to apply for a refund from SPPA.

In order to apply for your refund you'll need to complete a refund application form. It can take up to four months for your contributions to be refunded.

Contribution under-payments

If you've under-paid on your contributions then you'll have to contact SPPA and we'll calculate how much you owe and provide you with an invoice.

Pension qualification period

You'll qualify to receive benefits once you've contributed to the scheme continuously for two calendar years. This includes any officer service that you paid superannuation on, prior to being employed as a Practitioner. If you have less than two years' calendar service and you wish to opt out or leave the scheme, you can apply for a refund.

Paying your contributions to SPPA

If you are a partner within a GP practice or a single handed GP in a Practice, you are referred to as a Principal GP. Your earnings (profit share) are reported through the GP Annual Certificate (GAC) form and then sent to Practitioner Services. You can find the relevant form here.

This form must be completed for the previous financial year by the 28th February every year. For instance for the financial year 2017/18 then your completed GAC form must be sent to your PSD by 28th February 2019. If you are unable to complete your GAC form for this date, then please contact your PSD.

PSD will then process your GAC form and send the relevant financial information to SPPA. This information should be uploaded onto your record by July.

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. These forms must be sent into Practitioner services by the 7th of every month. Once these forms have been processed then SPPA will receive the annual return and the relevant information will be loaded onto your record.