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Could you have to repay your seniority?

September 2009


The NHS Information Centre has issued the final figures for the average GP’s pensionable pay for the years 2004/05 and 2005/06.  These figures are higher than the interim estimates that the PCTs were using and this could result in GPs having to pay back some of their seniority.


Seniority is not only calculated on the number of years’ reckonable service, but it is also dependent on the amount of pensionable pay.  To receive the maximum seniority, a GP’s pensionable pay must be above two thirds of the average.  If a GP’s pensionable pay is above one third of the national average, but below two thirds, then they would only receive 60% of their seniority entitlement.  If it is below one third, no seniority would be paid.


The final averages are as follows:



Interim average


Final     average


Two thirds of final average


One third of final average


















NHS employers have said that, as a result of the changes, some PCTs may need to recover overpayments from practices.  It is thought that any overpayments will be clawed back directly from practices and if these relate to ex-partners, the practice would need to recover the money from them, which could prove difficult in some cases!


This is most likely to affect part time GPs whose income is less than two thirds of the average.


Jenny Stone