BMA takes death benefit TPO case to the High Court

The British Medical Association (BMA) has challenged The Pensions Ombudsman’s (TPO) decision that found a locum general practitioner (GP) was not entitled to their full death-in-service benefits as she died on a day that she was not contracted to work.

The BMA is seeking clarification on the exact meaning of ‘in pensionable employment’ and the way it applies to locum GPs who die in service.

Commenting on the High Court challenge, BMA sessional GPs sub-committee deputy chair, Dr Krishan Aggarwal, said: “Having pursued a claim for death in service benefits through the NHS pensions internal disputes procedure and onto TPO, the BMA continues to challenge the application of rules on behalf of a widower of a former BMA member.

“Contracted GPs receive a full death in service benefit but if a locum GP was to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but died on a Tuesday, NHS Pensions state they were not in pensionable service at that time and therefore are not eligible to receive the full benefit.

“The GP in this case died on a day she was not due to work and therefore did not receive the full death-in-service benefit that her employed colleagues can expect.”

The BMA is hoping that the High Court will overturn the decision made by the ombudsman and that the GP is entitled to death-in-service benefits.

It is now awaiting the High Court’s decision, having applied for permission to appeal.

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