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EPN410 2015 Pension Changes - Employer Readiness Update, Revised Developers Guide and Migration Paper

Audience:

This notice will be of interest to:

  • HR Managers;
  • Payroll Managers and
  • Pension Leads

Action:

To read and act on the following guidance.

Timing:

Immediate

Update on Employer Readiness

  1. In EPN401 we asked you to complete the 3rd alpha readiness self-assessment.  The Programme has followed up the self-assessment with employer one-to-one meetings and drop in meetings with smaller employers.
  2. This engagement has raised concerns about overall employer readiness to implement the alpha scheme. There are employers who have made excellent progress and are on course to successfully implement alpha on 1 April 2015. However, overall employers are tracking red. The key areas of concern are:

    - 23% of employers failed to return their self-assessment.

    - Only 50% of employers have told us in response to EPN 396 their developing and testing dates.

    - There is limited evidence that employers are documenting alpha in their processes and desk instructions.

    - Limited visibility of payroll changes plans and management of third party contractors.

    - Employer migration plans are unclear or are not documented in sufficient detail.

    - Employers’ understanding of the size and importance of the Public Service Pension History exercise or the timescales for completion.
  3. The priorities for employers are:

    - prioritising implementation plans to be IT ready by 1 April 2015;

    - achieving business readiness by further defining migration plans and documenting Public Service Pension History processes; and

    - completing the Public Service History collection by 31 December 2014.

    You need to consider whether you have the right resources in both terms of numbers and skills to undertake these tasks. You should ensure that your HR Director or Finance Director is aware of any shortfall in the required resources. We will highlight any shortfall in resources to the Cabinet Office 2015 Programme Board.
  4. The revised Developers Guide can be found:

    Standard Interface

    Full Interface

    These sets out the changes needed for EPA. The revised Employer Impact Document will follow soon.
  5. Next steps

    You must tell us what your approach to testing is by 19 December 2014. It is essential that you do this. Please send your returns to the 2015 inbox. The address of which has recently changed.  It is now 2015employers@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. We need assurance that your systems will be ready for go live on 1 April 2015. We will follow up and escalate any non-returns.
  6. To help you take forward system development we have collated the technical payroll questions we have received and we will be putting the FAQs on the 2015 Employer Section of our website very soon. You should make sure that your payroll is aware of the FAQs.
  7. Due to employers’ readiness we are changing our approach to employer engagement. We will be concentrating our efforts on more communications and additional support mechanisms and focusing on priority employers. The first of these additional products is at, a Guide to Migration, which includes a decision matrix to help you migrate members. We are, of course, here to help you with any difficulties that you encounter.
  8. We will let you know very shortly how to send over the results of the Public Service Pension History. Please note that you need to build into your planning that this exercise needs to be completed by 31 December 2014. You need to prioritise those in the age group on 1 April 2012 that may make them eligible for the Options Exercise, please refer to the migration document for the detailed rules on this and use Annex B if you identify anyone you believe may be eligible for an option. You should tell us by e-mailing the 2015 inbox. 

Contact

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs or you need to receive them in a different format contact employerpensionnotice@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website.

This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members.

If members have a question about their pension they can find information on this website or by contacting your Pension Service Centre.