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Seniority payments are being phased out since the introduction of the 2014-2015 contract. The seniority scheme will end completely on 31 March 2020. GPs not already in receipt of seniority on 31 March 2014 will generally not be eligible.

Find more information on phasing out seniority payments.

Any GP provider who has at least two years of service before 31st March 2014 as a GP provider will be eligible for seniority payments. There is a very complicated process by which you can calculate your seniority payments and the BMA has produced specific advice on this subject.

There are four stages in calculating the seniority payment to which you are entitled.

  • Stage 1 – calculating reckonable service.
  • Stage 2 – establishing your seniority and qualifying dates.
  • Stage 3 – the really difficult bit – calculating the proportion of the full annual payment that you are entitled to based on tables of “Average Adjusted Superannuable Income” that are published retrospectively by the DOH each year. Full seniority payments are paid if your superannuable NHS income is 2/3rds or more of the “Average Adjusted Superannuable Income” for that year. If your income is between one and two thirds of this figure you are entitled to 60% of the full seniority payment. Those doctors earning less than one third of the figure are not entitled to seniority payments.
  • Stage 4 – Calculating the quarterly seniority payments based on a sliding scale of payments depending on years of reckonable service.

A few GPs who have not kept tabs on their earning against the “Average Adjusted Superannuable Income” have inadvertently gone below the two thirds or one third threshold and suffered unfortunate clawbacks years after the event. The reverse is also true and GPs have had significant underpayments and received an unexpected bonus. Part of the reason for these “surprises” is that the figures published by the DOH are sometimes several years late.

If GPs are unsure about their position they should consult a specialist accountant. The LMC will happily provide a list upon request.


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