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GP and Partner Responsibilities when you’re Retiring for 24 hours

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If you’re a member of the 2008 section of the NHS pension scheme, your normal retirement age will be 65. You don’t have to retire at this age, and could elect to work longer in order to accrue 45 years of service and maximise your pension – you are then allowed to base your pension on the best 45 years of service, but any service after the age of 75 will not be counted. But what if you want to claim your pension and continue to work in the NHS?

Welcome to 24-hour retirement

If you want to claim all of your NHS pension scheme benefits, then you have to retire from all NHS posts. You can do this by taking a 24 hour break from service, though there is then no further restrictions on working post-retirement. This could be used as a way to unlock your lump sum benefits should you need to. However, while you will have retired for 24 hours, this doesn’t mean you abdicate responsibilities if you are a partner in a CQC registered partnership.

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What partners must do for 24 hour retirement

If you decide to take 24 hour retirement, both the BMA and NHS England regard that you have not retired from your partner responsibilities. You’ll still be accountable (along with the other partners) for the regulated activities delivered by the partnership during the 24 hours of your retirement.

This has a number of effects:

- First, if there is any misconduct or service shortfall during those 24 hours you will be deemed at least partially responsible

- Second, you must ensure that service provision remains constant

- Third, you don’t have to inform the CQC of your decision to retire for 24 hours

Confirming a partner’s legal position

These observations confirm a partner’s legal position: you don’t have to be a GP to be a partner, and nor do you have to be the holder of an NHS contract. This doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities and liabilities, though.

But to unlock your section 2008 pension scheme benefits, knowing there is one less piece of paperwork to do so should be pleasing.

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