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Interfacing is the routine exchange of common data, in a pre-determined format, using Microsoft Excel. Using our interface service offers several advantages:

  1. Standardised format: The data is shared in a standard way, so everyone can understand it easily. 
  1. Quick and safe delivery: The information is sent right away and kept secure, so it doesn’t get lost or seen by the wrong people. 
  1. Less opportunity for human error: You can take the data straight from your payroll system, so there are fewer chances for errors. 
  1. Checking made easy: Its easy to check the accuracy and consistency of data at a glance. 
  1. One point of contact on our Systems Team to help with any queries. 

For our Systems Team, there are additional benefits: 

  1. Regular and predictable data flow: They can expect to receive information regularly, which helps them plan their work. 
  1. Managing records made simple: They can quickly create and update member records in the system using the interface. 
  1. Better quality data: By using the interface, the data is clearer and easier to read, which means fewer mistakes. 
  1. Easy archiving: The interface makes it simple to store data and meet any audit requirements. 

So, by using our interface service, you can exchange information easily and safely, and our Systems Team can work more efficiently with better-quality data. 

  • The Interfaces

    We have a spreadsheet with seven different interfaces that help us collect all the necessary information to maintain records of the active members. Here’s a breakdown of each interface: 

    • CARE PAY (Career Average Revalued Earnings) Interface: This interface provides the total amount an employee has been paid so far, including any assumed pensionable pay that counts towards their pension. The data you provide must include casual employees regardless of whether they have been paid in that month or not. 
    • Starters Interface: this interface allows bulk notification of new entrants to the pension scheme for any given month. 
    • Current Address Interface: This interface helps us keep track of employees who have recently changed their home address. It’s important to let us know about these changes. 
    • Hour Changes Interface: This interface is for part-time employees who have made further changes to their working hours. It includes adjustments in hours and weeks factor changes for term-time employees. It also applies to full-time employees who switch to part-time. 
    • Service Breaks Interface: please use this interface to confirm any service breaks, such as strikes, parental leave, or unpaid leave.
    • Name Changes Interface: If any employees have recently changed their names, it’s important to inform us using this interface. 
    • Pay Reference Changes Interface: If there is a change in an employee’s pay reference, please use this interface to notify us. 

    All interfaces should be completed monthly and sent to our secure mailbox at  

    In addition, we also use: 

    • Leaver’s spreadsheet. This is a separate spreadsheet to the main interface template and is used to notify us when an employee leaves, opts out of the pension scheme, or retires. Please complete this spreadsheet and send it to whenever you have any leavers. 

    It’s important to follow the strict criteria outlined in the guides when filling out the interfaces. This is necessary because there are several steps involved in processing the interfaces and updating records. If the data is not formatted correctly (e.g., using an unrecognized column heading), the update process will fail. In such cases, we need to identify and fix the error before proceeding. 

  • Nil Returns

    When you agree to monthly interfacing, it means you are committing to sending us data every month without missing any deadlines. 

    If you don’t have any data to submit for any of the interfaces, with the exception of CARE Pay, there is a simple way to let us know. Simply use the options on the first tab of the interface template, which will confirm that you have no data to send us for that month.  

  • Completing an Interface

    When completing the interfaces, please follow these instructions: 

    1. Alphanumeric content: Use capital letters whenever possible. Format cells as Text in Excel. Dates should adhere to the Date/Short Date format (e.g., 01/01/2001). 
    1. Salaries and numbers: Format them as Text, especially when leading zeroes are involved. Number/Currency/Percentage formatting is not necessary. 
    1. Special characters are not required so entries do not require a ‘£’ prefix and percentages do not require ‘%’ as long as five decimal places have been used.  
    1. Red text field headings: Ignore them as they are for internal use only. 
    1. Multiple employments: If an employee has multiple employments, represent each employment separately with one line per employment. Note that all interfaces relate to employments, except for address and name change interfaces. 

    Common data across all interfaces: 

    • NI Number: Nine characters in length, following the format XX000000X. It is unique to each employee and the primary identifier used within Peninsula Pensions. 
    • Surname and Forenames: Enter the employee’s full name in capital letters and long-form (no initials). 
    • Job Reference (optional): Use this field in correlation with an employee number (Payroll Number) to ensure the correct record is updated, especially for employees with multiple employments. If you use this field, inform us of any changes in employment or number. 
    • Payroll Number: A unique identifier for each employee. There is no set format. 
    • Scheme: A three digit number, indicating which pension fund the employee contributes to: 001 Devon County Council, 004 Somerset County Council, 601 Police officers (New Scheme), 801 Firefighters (new scheme) 
    • Employer Number: A unique five-digit number assigned to each employer contributing to the pension fund(s). Contact us if you need confirmation of your number. 

    Member-specific data (when required): 

    • Title: Choose from Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr. 
    • Sex: Indicate Male or Female. 
    • DOB (Date of Birth): Format as 01/01/2001. 
    • Address Line and Post Code: Enter the address contiguously in sequence, avoiding punctuation marks, hyphens, commas, and abbreviations. Use proper UK post codes where appropriate. 
    • Job Title (optional): Provide a brief description of the employment in question. 

    Please make sure to adhere to these instructions when completing the interfaces to ensure accurate and consistent data. 

  • CARE Interface

    The CARE interface is an ongoing update of pensionable pay plus Assumed Pensionable Pay for all employees who contribute to the pension scheme. It should include active employees, including casual workers, as well as employees who have left the scheme or employment partway through the month. However, for subsequent months, the employees who have left can be removed from the data. 

    LGPSMAIN From Date: 1st of April of that financial year. If an employment or contribution starts during the year, specify the start date of the employment or contribution. 

    LGPSMAIN To Date: the last day of the month for that specific pay period. For example, if the interface is for October, the date would be 31/10/2018. If the employment has ceased or the employee has stopped contributing to the scheme, use the date of leaving. 

    LGPSMAIN Pay: the total pensionable pay received by the employee to date. Please note that the figures are cumulative – the interface is not a record of how much is paid in a given month. 

    The above guidelines also apply to the 50/50 entries, with one exception. If an employee switches to the 50/50 scheme partway through a year, you should complete all columns but the “50/50 From Date” should be the start of the month immediately following the final monthly pay period where the employee contributed fully to the main scheme (MAIN). 

    Please ensure that the CARE interface accurately reflects the pensionable pay and Assumed Pensionable Pay for all employees, including those who have left, and follow the guidelines provided. 

  • Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP)

    Assumed Pensionable Pay is used when a member’s contractual pay is reduced or suspended due to reasons such as sickness, injury, relevant paid child-related leave (maternity, paternity, adoption), shared parental leave, additional maternity or adoption leave, or reserve forces service leave. 

    In these situations, the amount added to the cumulative pensionable pay should be the Assumed Pensionable Pay and not the actual pensionable pay received (if any). This ensures that the member is not negatively affected by the reduction in pay. 

    For more detailed information on Assumed Pensionable Pay, please refer to the dedicated section in the employer guide. 

    To assist you further, there is a video available at the top of this page and on the Systems Development Team page. These videos can provide guidance on how to complete the CARE Pay interface accurately. 

  • Starter Interface

    The Starter Interface is used to notify us of newly appointed employees as well as those who are opting in to the pension scheme or start an additional job. 

    • Part-Time Ind: This tells us if the employee is working part-time, casually, or full-time. “Y” for part-time, “C” for casual or leave blank for full-time. 
    • Cont Rate: employee contribute rate as per the current contribution bands falls between 5.5% and 12.5% depending on their actual pay. If they contribute at a reduced 50/50 rate, the rate should be adjusted accordingly. 
    • Date Joined Fund, Date Joined Employer, Employer Start Date, Date Com Pen Serv, Date Act/Rem Applicable, Date Pen/Rem Applicable: should be the date when the employee joined the pension scheme for this specific job.
    • Actual Rem/Pens Rem: The full-time equivalent salary (where full-time is equivalent to 37 hrs per week, 52 weeks per year) should be entered in both cells. In other words, this is the salary scale point or grade of the employee and not their actual pay. Somerset employers: see note below. 
    • Part-Time Hours: If the employee is part-time or casual, enter the percentage of hours they work compared to a full-time employee (37 hours per week). Use up to five decimal places (e.g., 18.50 hours per week is 50.00000). Leave it empty if the employee is full-time. 

    Weeks Factor: You should also take the weeks factor (the number of weeks worked per year) into account if the job follows school term-time hours.  

    All Somerset employers, please see note below: 

    • Somerset Employers: Hours Worked: A percentage of whole-time (37 hrs per week), expressed to five decimal places (e.g. an employment of 18.50 hours per week would be presented as 50.00000). No adjustment should be made for the number of weeks worked each year. 
    • Somerset Employers: FTE Salaries: For term-time jobs, adjust or reduce the full-time equivalent pensionable pay based on the total number of weeks worked each year. 

    Here’s an example to calculate the employee’s pay: 

    1. Adjust the actual basic annual salary to account for the number of weeks worked each year. 
    1. Add any additional recurring pay that counts towards the pension. 
    1. Multiply the adjusted salary by the basic hours worked (37 hours). 
    1. Divide the result by the actual hours worked each week. 
  • Hour Change Interface

    This interface tells us whenever an employee changes their working hours, whether they go from working part-time to full-time, or the other way around, or anything in between. 

    Changes from contracted hours to casual employment should be included, but casual hours notifications are not required until the end of year as part of the annual return process. 

    You can record multiple changes in working hours for the same employee or employment using the interface. This is helpful if you think a record might be outdated and missing some changes. 

    Please make sure to follow the data requirements described in the Starter Interface section. 

  • Service Breaks Interface

    This interface informs us about employees who had a period of unpaid leave and do not plan to cover the shortfall through Additional Pension Contributions (APC). If an employee has elected to purchase an APC, they should not be included in this interface. Please refer to the Additional Pension Contributions and Absences pages on our website for instructions on how to inform us about these employees. 

    Please do not state future dates in this system, as it is only meant for confirming past events. 

    • Break From: This is the first day of the unpaid leave. Note that, especially with Parental Leave, this date may be different or later than the actual start date of the absence. 
    • Break To: This is the last day of the unpaid leave. 
    • Reason: This is the reason for the unpaid leave and should be indicated with a capital letter using the following codes: S = Strike M = Parental Leave (previously Maternity Leave) A = Authorized Leave of Absence E = Education Break P = Paid Back (only applicable to pre-2014 LGPS) U = Unauthorized Absence 
    • Part Day: Please answer with a simple Yes or No if the unpaid absence does not cover the entire working day. If you leave this column blank, we will assume the answer is No by default. 
  • Leaver's Spreadsheet

    This spreadsheet is used to notify us about employees who leave, opt out, or retire. Please refer to the Guidance tab in the spreadsheet to understand what information is required in each section. 

    The spreadsheet is designed for submitting information in bulk, so please include all the employees who are leaving in that month on the ‘Leavers’ tab. We understand that some employers may not be able to extract data in bulk from their payroll system, so there is an ‘Input’ page where you can manually enter the data and when you press the submit button, it transfers the data to the ‘Leavers’ tab. 

    If you manually add data to the ‘Leavers’ tab without using the ‘Input’ page, please remember to insert a line above your entry so that the formatting remains intact. 

    • Date of leaving: Please confirm the date when the employee is leaving or the date they opted out. For Flexible Retirement cases, please provide the last day before the change in grade and/or hours as agreed with the employee. 
    • Reasons for Leaving: Use the drop-down menu to select the reason. It’s important to choose from the available options in the spreadsheet. Changing the wording can cause issues when we upload the data to the member’s record. There is a quick guide to each type of retirement listed in the spreadsheet. For more detailed information on each type and strain costs, please refer to the Employer’s Guide to the LGPS

    If members are leaving your employment and transferring to another employer under TUPE, please do not complete the leaver spreadsheet. Instead, follow the process outlined on our website

    For employer-led retirements, we will refer to the Employer Key Decisions form on our website on how you will pay any strain costs and enhance benefits. If “on a case by case basis” has been selected, your HR department will need to complete the HR Authorisation form on our website and send it to: Both forms can be downloaded from our website

    The columns in R to AC (yellow) are conditional and to be completed if the following reasons are selected: 

    • Opted out 
    • Death in Service 
    • Flexible Retirement 
    • Ill Health Retirement 
    • Variable/Casual employee: If “yes” is selected here, you only need to provide the CARE pay for these employees as most of them should have post-2014 membership. If the member has pre-2014 membership, we may need to request more information from you separately. If you are updating the spreadsheet in bulk, you can leave this section blank and only complete the LGPS 2014 CARE Pay section.  
    • Pension Contributions: If the employee has less than 2 years membership, you need to provide the last three years of pension contributions (columns AJ to AO). We ask for three years because the date of leaving may span multiple financial years ending on March 31.  
    • For example, if the membership is from 01/03/2017 to 20/02/2019, we need contributions for 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19.  
    • If the employee has more than 2 years of membership, you only need to provide the final year’s pension contributions (columns AJ & AK). 
  • LGPS 2008 Final Salary Pay

    In this section, you need to confirm the full-time equivalent pensionable pay for any pre-2014 benefits (Final Salary Pension) that the member has accumulated. Please check your records and complete this section for all leavers with pre-1st April 2014 membership. 

    Any pension built up until 31st March 2014 has the protection of a final salary link to the date of leaving. The final pay used to calculate this part of a member’s benefits will be the pensionable pay earned over the last 365 days of membership, adjusted to a full-time equivalent (FTE). For example, if a member left on 22nd August 2019, you would need to provide the pensionable pay for the period from 23rd August 2018 to 22nd August 2019. 

    Please exclude non-contractual overtime from these figures as it is not considered pensionable under the 2008 definition of pensionable pay. 

    You need to provide the total pensionable pay for the final 365 days of membership, along with the best of the previous two years if higher – this is a standard pay protection provided by the regulations. For example, if the date of leaving is 25/03/2015, you should provide figures for the periods 26/03/2014 to 25/03/2015, 26/03/2013 to 25/03/2014, and 26/03/2012 to 25/03/2013. 

    We no longer require employers to provide a breakdown of the FTE figure for each change in hours or rate of pay. Instead, we only ask for an FTE figure for the entire 365-day period and the percentage of hours as of the date of leaving, taking into account any changes in hours or pay or absences. Therefore, you should only need to report a maximum of 3 lines. 

    If the member has experienced a reduction or restriction in their permanent pensionable pay since 1st April 2008, and this occurred within the 10 years before they leave, they can choose to use the best 3-year average pensionable pay within the last 13 years (ending on 31st March) for the calculation of their benefits. Members must notify us in writing at least a month before they leave if they wish to apply this protection. In such cases, we will provide a separate Previous Years Pensionable Pay Request form for you to complete. 

    Important Note: Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) salaries and term-time hours are treated differently depending on which pension fund the employer contributes to: 

    • For Devon fund employers, adjust the Part-Time Hours to reflect term-time/weeks factors but leave the FTE salary unchanged. 
    • For Somerset employers, adjust the FTE salary but leave the hours unchanged. 

    For more guidance, please refer to the Pensionable Pay Focus sessions videos and the relevant section within the Employer’s Guide on our website

  • LGPS 2014 CARE Pay

    CARE stands for Career Average Revalued Earnings which is simply a member’s actual pensionable pay for the period. 

    Non-contractual overtime and additional hours are considered as eligible for pension contributions under the 2014 LGPS scheme. Therefore, they can be included in the overall figures. 

    When reporting the total pensionable pay, it is important to include any Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP) if applicable. There is no specific indicator to confirm whether the figure already includes APP. For more information on Assumed Pensionable Pay, please refer to the Employers Guide to the LGPS

    Please note that the figures you provide will be considered final and will replace any previously submitted pay data through your monthly CARE data interface.

  • Help

    If you have any queries regarding the completion of the Excel interface templates, please email the Pensions Interfaces shared mailbox.

    The Pensions Interfaces Mailbox is monitored throughout the working day, so may be used as a method of contacting the Systems Team with any general queries or questions about interfacing.

    Please note that the team should only be contacted specifically regarding the annual return or interface process/contents; general queries should continue to be raised through existing established channels.

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