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Seniority payments

When will seniority adjustments before 2017/18 be made?

Calculations are yet to be finalised for 2013/14 to 2016/2017 financial years. Further communication will be provided when they are.

I don’t agree with the amount of adjustment, what do I need to do to escalate / challenge this?

You will need to raise a case via the online form selecting ‘GP Payment’s' until you get to the query type when you should select ‘Seniority Payments’. Please ensure that you explain what you believe is incorrect and the PCSE Payments team will respond.

These GP adjustments relate to a closed practice which has now merged with my practice, what should I do?

Practices are advised to refer to their merger agreements if guidance is needed on treatment of any payments or adjustments.

The GP has left, retired, is now deceased, is the adjustment still valid?

Yes, as this adjustment relates to when the GP was working at your practice.

This adjustment has placed our practice into financial hardship, who can we speak to?

Please raise a query with PCSE as soon as possible, using the online form selecting ‘GP Payment’s' until you get to the query type when you should select ‘Seniority Payments’.

Ensure that you explain that the adjustment has put you into financial hardship and we will escalate this for you.

How has my adjustment been calculated?

The financial years 2017/18 2018/19 and 2019/20 have been calculated using the following information from NHAIS:

  • GMC number of GP
  • Number of years qualified for payment
  • The quarter that the Anniversary occurs (years increased by 1)
  • The payment already made on account based upon your estimated pensionable pay
  • The actual pensionable profit figure as declared for the year end certificate for that year
  • The practice for the GP at the time the payment was made

Important note: There are other attributes but the above are the core, the additional attributes help with investigating anomalies.

What are these adjustments in relation to?

NHS England is undertaking a Seniority payment reconciliation and as part of this work PCSE has made the relevant adjustments to practices.

Seniority payments were made to Principal GPs in recognition of their years of NHS reckonable service. The scheme closed to new applicants on the 1 April 2014 and the last payments were made at the end of March 2020. 

Seniority was paid ‘on account’ and then adjustments made when the Final Seniority Factor (FSF) is published (usually 3 years later). The 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 Final Seniority Factors (FSF) have been published. 

Why has it taken so long for these payments to be identified and why haven’t they been calculated annually?

Seniority adjustments are made following publication of the "final seniority factor" (FSF) that enables any adjustments to be made to estimates submitted by practices. The FSF is usually published 12-18 months after payment has been made "on account", which automatically creates a delay to any adjustments that need to be made. There has been a complex information gathering exercise to analyse the data required to accurately identify any adjustments required for practices, and as the Seniority scheme itself has now finished we are working through a retrospective programme to identify and make adjustments to close the scheme off.

What is the current situation regarding seniority payments?

Seniority payments scheme ended on the 31 March 2020. Any new applications for seniority ceased as of the 1st April 2014. Only GP Partners who previously qualified remained in receipt of these payments, these payments were subject to an annual reduction.

The payments were calculated on a doctors NHS Reckonable Service, and were included on the practice's quarter end payment in June, September, December and March.

The doctors annual estimated income was used to calculate whether they qualified for payments in full, whether they got these payments abated by 60% or if they didn't qualify for payments at all.

If PCSE did not receive an updated Estimate of Profit Pay/Contributions for all GP Partners, seniority payment may have been affected. If a doctor had drawn their pension an estimate must have still been provided for seniority purposes only.