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Clarifying how PCOs will 'pay' superannuation

Dr Paul Kelly's letter (May 3) concerning my article on superannuation (Pulse Features, April 19) deserves a response.

When I indicated that PCOs were paying employers' contributions I was using 'shorthand' for the fact that they are paying the money as an extra to the GP and on the other side of the account withdrawing it. It comprises £2.64 of the £4 extra allocated to the global sum. This covers the amounts identifiable for pre-new contract pay as well as £1.46 for staff income.

Enhanced services fees, however, should include the superannuation elements, and this has been widely publicised.

That leaves areas that have not yet been agreed: identifiable pay under new GMS and new staff costs. I understand from the negotiators that work is ongoing on these points.

Dr Kelly is right, therefore, with regard to the amount of money presently having been received by GPs as not being sufficient to allow for 14 per cent contributions on new income not yet earned. This is yet to be agreed and incorporated into GP pay.

There would be no point if GPs had to superannuate themselves since it would reduce the profit.

GPs can pay a greater amount into their superannuation pot now to partly compensate for this and many are so doing.

You may be heartened to see that PMS practices under para 3.46 of their directions appear to have clarified that the 14 per cent is payable by the PCO.

This is a subject which is awaiting the writing of the final chapter and we must possess ourselves in patience a little longer and trust our negotiators – who are themselves just as affected – to make sure the money is forthcoming.

Dr Bob Button

Chief Executive

Wessex LMCs

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