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Superannuation

We are currently five partners and we became a PMS practice in 2006 when there was one partner less. At the time the PCT calculated 14 per cent of our NHS superannuation for our personal employer's contribution on the basis of previous year superannuable income for four partners. This was included in our base line. For subsequent years, in spite of an increase in our NHS superannuable profits, the PCT has not increased the employer's contribution funding. As a result this is now less than 50 per cent of what we have to pay. When we challenged the PCT, we were told that we were being paid as per our PMS contract. Should the PCT be paying the full 14 per cent? During 2007/8 a partner took 24-hour retirement and rejoined the practice as a partner on the same hours. Now that the partner has taken their NHS pension they claim that part of the employer's superannuation paid to us by the PCT belongs to them as it is part of our annual base line. The other partners do not agree. Who is right?

Before you moved to PMS in 2006, you would have received a global sum under the GMS contract. Certainly, a practice receiving funding under the GMS contract would not receive any additional funding to meet the employer's superannuation.

The question of whether the PCT should be funding the employer's superannuation contributions under PMS is dependent on the exact PMS contract it signed. So you need to examine this carefully and challenge the PCT if it appears that the superannuation funding should be higher.

Both GMS and PMS contracts provide a budget framework which, with the exception of seniority payments, is unaffected by the delivery of care in terms of the number of GP principals, salaried doctors, nurse practitioners or non-GP principals.

A partner who has taken 24-hour retirement has made a personal decision not to contribute to the NHS scheme and this does not affect the practice's NHS contract income or the other partners in the practice in any way, either positively or negatively. So the baseline funding should be divided in profit-sharing ratios with the partner who has taken their NHS benefits entitled to take the appropriate portion of the employer's superannuation funding given that it is paid to the practice as income funding.

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