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Under the LGPS regulations, it is a statutory requirement for all employers to provide Peninsula Pensions, as the scheme administrators, with the information we require to carry out our duties.

Regulation 80  within the LGPS 2013 Scheme Regulations states: 

Exchange of information 80.  — (1) A Scheme employer must—

(a) inform the appropriate administering authority of all decisions made by the employer under regulation 72 (first instance decisions) or by an adjudicator appointed by the Scheme employer under regulation 74 (applications for adjudication of disagreements) concerning members; and

(b) give that authority such other information as it requires for discharging its Scheme Functions

  • What are your main responsibilities?

    You need to:

    • Automatically enrol new staff into the LGPS (if eligible)
    • Ensure scheme contributions are deducted and paid over to the fun on time each month – please refer to our page on how to make a payment to the fund.
    • Notify pensions of:
      • New entrants to the LGPS
      • Any material changes to pensionable employees, such as absences and changes in hours
      • Leaver’s, retiree’s and opt-outs
    • Provide the pensionable pay (prep and post 1 April 2014) required for calculations of the members benefits
    • Provide accurate contribution and membership data when requested, including at the end of the year
    • Appoint an Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP) stage 1 officer and fulfil the employer role within the process
    • Appoint an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) stage 1 officer to assess ill health retirement applications and decide the appropriate ‘tier’ for ill health
    • Notify us of any changes/mergers to the organisation that will impact on your participation in the fund including transfer of staff under TUPE mergers with other organisations or another decision, which may materially affect the employer’s fund membership.
    • Retain data for use by pensions if required (see Data retention)
    • Keep your Pensions Discretions Policy up to date
    • Ensure action is taken if advised of new legislation or procedures
    • Notify members of any relevant changes to pension scheme when advised by pensions
    • Ensure member records are accurate and provide Peninsula Pensions with what we need to administer LGPS

    While you may have delegated some of these functions to your payroll provider, you are still responsible for these actions as the scheme employer. We recommend that you check with your payroll provider to make sure that they are providing the correct data to us and within our timescales. 

    Expected standards 

    The expected standards of performance for both employers and Peninsula Pensions are outlined in the Administration Strategy Documents which you can find on our Employer’s Guidance page

  • Annual and monthly data collections

    Annual and Monthly Data Collections

    There are a number of submissions that we require monthly and annually

    • Interface Templates: It is possible to submit information to us by interface for starters, hour changes, address changes, and service breaks. Please email the Pensions Interfaces mailbox for a copy of the current template
    • Care Template: Ideally a monthly submission showing cumulative CARE (actual pensionable pay) for a given year.
    • Leaver’s spreadsheet: you will need to use the spreadsheet to notify us of every leaver for each month.
    • Annual Return Template: This is requested from you once a year and includes employee contributions, current working hours, contributions, and full-time equivalent salary as at 31/03/XXXX.  We also request CARE pay in case this has not been submitted monthly.
  • Data Retention

    The Pensions Regulator Code of Practice sets out some clear guidelines regarding maintaining accurate member data: 

    • the legal requirements for record-keeping 
    • what records must be kept 
    • the importance of reviewing and improving data 

    What are the legal requirements?

    The Public Service Pensions Regulations 2014  set out what records must be kept: 

    • Records of member and beneficiary information:
      • (a) the name of each member and of each beneficiary;
      • (b) the date of birth of each member and of each beneficiary;
      • (c) the gender of each member and of each beneficiary;
      • (d) the last known postal address of each member and of each beneficiary;
      • (e) each member’s identification number in respect of the scheme;
      • (f) the national insurance number of each member who has been allocated such a member; and
    • (g) in respect of each active member, deferred member and pensioner member-
      • (i) the dates on which such member joins and leaves the scheme;
      • (ii) details of such member’s employment with any employer participating in the scheme including-
        • (aa) the period of pensionable service in that employment; and
        • (bb) the amount of pensionable earnings in each year of that employment.

    The Employer’s Duties Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/772) generally states that records must be preserved for a period of 6 years, starting on the day on which the record must first be kept. 

    The Registered Pension Schemes Regulations 2006 – Regulation 18 states that documents must be preserved for the tax year to which they relate and for a period of 6 years following that year. 

    However, The Pension Regulator advises: 

    • Schemes should keep records for as long as they are needed and useful for their intended purposes. It is likely data will need to be held for long periods of time. 
    • Schemes will need to keep some records of a member even after they have retired, ensuring that pension benefits can be settled for as long as they need to be paid. 
    • It is also important that schemes have in place systems and processes so they can keep records for the necessary amount of time. 

    What records must be kept? 

    Member records must be kept across all membership types. This is to ensure a member can be uniquely identified and their benefits calculated correctly. This is particularly important for career average revalued earnings (CARE) schemes. 

    What do we need to achieve? 

    To maintain accurate data so that schemes can pay the right person and the right benefits at the right time. If records are only kept for 6 years, will this be achievable? 

    Provision of Data

    It is important that you put processes in place to retain access to historical payroll information when you change payroll provider so that you can continue to fulfil your responsibilities as a Scheme employer.

  • First instance decisions

    It is your responsibility to decide whether a member is entitled to a benefit from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).  This includes their right to join the Scheme as well as their right to benefits when they leave.

    When you have made a ‘first instance decision’, you must notify the member in writing ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ and also tell them the reason for the decision.

    What you need to do:

    • provide a clear written explanation of the decision and include:
    • the grounds for the decision if you have decided that they are not entitled to a benefit
    • show how the benefit is calculated if the decision is about the amount of benefits
    • an address from where further information about the decision can be obtained
    • a reference to the right of appeal under the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP)
    • time limits within which those rights may be exercised, and
    • the job title and address of the person appointed to whom applications may be made

    Please refer to The LGPS 2013 Regulations 72 and 73 for more information on what you need to do.

    Discretions

    The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a statutory pension scheme so its rules are laid down under Act of Parliament. However, Scheme regulations do allow an employer certain discretions to enhance members’ benefits. These discretions typically involve early access to benefits or improving the benefits received by members.

    All Scheme employers participating in the LGPS in England or Wales must formulate and publish a ‘statement of policy’ regarding the discretions they have the power to exercise confirming how the employer will handle these discretions and any associated costs. For more information, please refer to the Employers Discretions page  which includes links to a full list of discretions and an example of a policy template.

  • Your Responsibilities and Duties

    Please see below for what you need to do monthly, annually and when requested to do so.

    What you need to do each month

    • Automatically contractually enrol new staff into the LGPS if their contract is for more than three months 
    • Town and Parish Councils – if their post is listed within your designation. 
    • Admitted Bodies – this will depend on the terms of the admission agreement. 
    • Pay pension contributions on time and complete and return the Monthly Contributions form 
    • Notify us of any changes to the organisation that will impact on your participation in the Fund including transfer of staff under TUPE, mergers with other organisations or another decision which may materially affect the employer’s Fund membership – please refer to our TUPE and Admitted Bodies page for guidance. 
    • Use our approved interface template to keep us informed of 
      • New Starters 
      • Change of name 
      • Change of hours 
      • Unpaid or maternity leave 
      • Strike breaks 

    Our Systems Development Team page have some videos and guides to help you with the process. 

    • Keep us informed of any pensionable employees who leave or have chosen to opt out of the Local Government Pension Scheme by completing our Leavers Spreadsheet. 
    • For any employer led retirements or where you are enhancing the members benefits, you will also need to complete the HR Authorisation form on our Forms page.
    • Ensure member records are accurate and provide Peninsula Pensions with what we need to administer LGPS. 
    • Provide monthly pensionable pay figures to calculate the post 2014 CARE Pension using our approved interface template. Our Systems Development Team – Peninsula Pensions page can help you with this. 
    • Read our employer newsletter Pensions Line to keep up to date with changes in procedures and regulations 

    What you need to do annually or when requested to do so 

    • Ensure your pension discretions are reviewed annually and are up to date 
    • Provide accurate contribution and membership data when requested 
    • Send us an annual return at the end of each financial year, giving details of employee contributions paid and pensionable pay. 
    • Submit data for annual allowance with end of year data each April. 
    • Ensure appropriate action is taken when advised of new legislation or procedures 
    • Retain data for use by Pensions if required (see our Data Retention page
    • Notify members of any relevant changes to pension scheme when advised by Peninsula Pensions 
    • Attend employers’ meetings and training sessions when notified including the relevant fund investment meetings – see our Key Dates page
    • Academies only: Request FRS102 Figures from the pension fund 

    While you may have delegated some of these functions to your payroll provider, you are still responsible for these actions as the scheme employer. We recommend that you check with your payroll provider to make sure that they are providing the correct data to us and within our timescales. 

    For the full list of Employer Responsibilities and information on First Instance Decisions please visit our Employers Guide. 

  • Outstanding information

    Outstanding Information

    As confirmed above in what you need to do each month, you need to keep us informed of any pensionable employees who leave, or have chosen to opt out of the Local Government Pension Scheme by completing our leavers spreadsheet. Without the leaver details we are unable to update our records and provide the members concerned with information and/or payment of their pension benefits, so we ask you to do this in a timely manner. 

    We run a monthly report to identify any forms we have not received and outstanding queries. We then issue you with a list to work through and provide the required information within a specified timescale. Please do not rely on us chasing. It’s for you to submit leavers without being prompted to! 

    Key points to help you work through the list: 

    Action priority order 

    • Priority 9’s need to be dealt with first as these cases usually involve a member waiting payment of benefits. 
    • The remaining cases should be dealt with by the date specified in the email 

    Key to task/Memo description column 

    • LEAVERS FORM INCORRECT – the leaver form you submitted has been rejected. You would have received an email with full details of that query so please check and submit revised leaver details 
    • NEED LEAVERS FORM / REM – record has missing pay figures so we assume the post has ceased. You will need to complete the leavers spreadsheet – please refer to our Employer Interfacing Guide to help you with the process. 
    • Any other comments stated – you will have previously received an email about that case so please check your records. 

    If a reply is not received by the specified deadlines and the expected timeframes have been exceeded, we are legally required to record these cases on our breaches register, providing an explanation as to why a breach has occurred. The breaches register is reviewed regularly by Senior Officers at Peninsula Pensions and is presented at least annually to the Devon and Somerset Pension Boards. Depending on the severity or frequency of a breach, it may result in a referral to The Pensions Regulator (TPR). 

    The timeframes can be found within the Pension Administration Strategy (PAS): 

    Devon Pension Fund Administration Strategy 

    Somerset Pension Fund Administration Strategy 

    TPR has the authority to impose a maximum fine of £5,000 for an individual case and up to £50,000 in other cases, to either the scheme administrator or employer, following an assessment of any breach. Our breaches register records employer breaches separately to ensure clarity in this respect. Therefore, it is in the best interests of Peninsula Pensions, the Scheme Employer and ultimately the Scheme Member that we work together to ensure the timely and accurate communication of information. 

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