What is a 24-Hour Retirement?

The process is to retire from your current GDS/PDS contract over a weekend (for 24 hours Saturday to Sunday) before returning to work as normal on the Monday. Following your return to work you will receive a lump sum from your NHS pension and also receive your monthly pension payments. Practitioners who are age 55 (or over) and are members of the 1995-2008 Section and 2015 Pension Scheme are eligible to take advantage of this procedure.

Although the 24-Hour Retirement process may seem simple, there are many moving parts to consider. Without perfect execution of each step required, you may run the risk of having your contract terminated unintentionally.

As each practitioner will have their own unique situation when approaching retirement age; I have added some possible scenarios below that may apply to you.

I am a practitioner with a GDS/PDS contract in my sole name. I would like to take my 24-Hour Retirement, what does the process involve?

When you notify the NHS Pensions team of your intention to take your retirement; a termination date for your contract will be set with your NHS Local Area Team. As you wish to return to work following successful completion of your 24-Hour Retirement, you must bring on a partner/signatory to your contract to provide protection while you action the process. This trusted dentist will effectively hold your contract for the 24-hour period while you take your required break in service and are removed from the contract. You will then be added back onto your contract once the 24 hours have elapsed. On your return to work, your lump sum payment is released, and your pension payments will begin. There are many steps to complete with NHS England, so it is important to have an experienced professional guiding you through the process to avoid the common pitfalls.

Do I have to remain in partnership with the incoming dental partner once my 24-Hour Retirement is complete?

This is entirely your choice. You may only want the incoming partner to protect your contract while you action your 24-hour retirement. The incoming partner can then be removed from your contract on the Monday that you return to work. In this instance, the partnership will be terminated, and the contract will revert back to your sole name. Alternatively, you may choose to continue in partnership with the incoming partner indefinitely following completion of the retirement. This is for the long-term protection of the contract (in the event of death). Both methods require different routes to completion but are entirely possible if executed correctly.

What about the CQC?

If you are a sole practitioner and wish to continue in partnership with the incoming partner post-24-hour retirement, a new partnership registration must be made with the CQC. The application process with the CQC can be extremely complicated and can differ considerably depending on your current situation. Please get in touch with us to discuss your options if you intend to take go down the indefinite partnership route following successful completion of your 24-Hour Retirement.

Alternatively, CQC involvement is not necessary if you decided to remove the incoming partner following completion of your 24-Hour Retirement. This method of accessing your NHS pension is much more straightforward.

Me and two other dental practitioners are already in partnership, and we hold a contract conjointly. Can I still take my 24-Hour Retirement?

Yes. Your situation does not require any CQC involvement as you and your existing partners will already be in partnership. Your 24-Hour Retirement can be actioned just as quickly by using the simple add and remove method (as mentioned earlier). Once all of the necessary arrangements have been made with NHS England; you will be removed from your current contract for the 24-hour period before being added back on. You will then reap the rewards of your hard-earned pension.

My contract is incorporated and in the name of my company, am I still able to take my 24-Hour Retirement?

Yes. This is entirely possible, but the process is completely different from each of the above scenarios. This route can be much more complex and requires a different approach to the whole situation. If this scenario applies to you, then please get in touch with me or one of the team to discuss further how this can be made possible.

How long does a 24-Hour Retirement take?

–         Sole practitioner, removing the incoming partner post-retirement – 3 months

–         Existing partnership, added back onto your contract post-retirement – 3 months

–         Incorporated contract, removing the incoming partner post-retirement – 3 months

–         Sole practitioner, creating a continuing partnership post-retirement – 5 / 6 months

How can Carter Bond Solicitors help me action my 24-Hour Retirement?

From start to finish, our expert 24-Hour Retirement team will deal with the whole process on your behalf. We have built long lasting relationships with our contacts at NHS England and the NHS Dental Pensions Team alike. We ensure our retirement matters run as smoothly as possible for all of our clients.

Our 24-Hour Retirement packages include the following:

  • Liaising with our close contacts at the NHS Dental Pensions Team and NHS Local Area Teams across the country.
  • Drafting bespoke partnership agreements, deeds of retirement, letters of authority and the formal notices to serve to the area team that will protect your contract fully from termination.
  • Submitting the vital documents that we have drafted to NHS England to avoid the termination of your GDS/PDS contract.
  • Assisting you with the completion of the re-employment forms.
  • Giving you expert advice throughout and treating you as our number one priority.

If you would like to know more about the 24-Hour Retirement process and receive a fixed fee quote for our services; then please get in touch with myself or one of the team here at Carter Bond Solicitors.