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EPN 490 - Scheme Events 2017: Annual Benefit Statements and Pension Saving Statements

Audience

  • Pension Leads and HR Managers
  • Any staff involved with the payroll providers interface to MyCSP 

Action:

  • To note processes and timescales to deliver ABS including the resolution of queries.
  • To ensure arrangements are in place to provide the Scheme Administrator with;
    • March Interface during April 2017
    • April Interface by 31 May 2017
    • Notification of Payroll Closedown (Care Year End) by 31 May 2017
    • 1– 5 April data for Pension input Period by 31 May 2017
    • To note the support available for members.

Timing:

Immediate

Detail:

Following on from EPN 482, this EPN is to update you on the distribution of Annual Benefit Statements and Pensions Savings Statements. It is also a reminder of the timings required for data interfaces in 2017, including the new obligation to submit data for the period 1st – 5th April, to meet new HMRC regulations.

Annual Benefit Statements (ABS)

MyCSP are currently working through queries from members about their 2016 ABS and also queries from employers about the Management Information, which was delivered alongside the ABS. The numbers of queries received were significantly lower than the previous year, and MyCSP plan to respond to members’ queries on alpha ABS by the end of February 2017 and PCSPS by end of April 2017. This will mean that all queries from members and employers to be resolved prior to the start of this year’s ABS exercise in June 2017. 

We have built on the improvements that were made in 2016 (which included a redesigned template, a colour coded glossary, dedicated web pages and scheme specific guides) by shortening the delivery window for 2017 from six months to three. This will mean that the distribution of both alpha and PCSPS ABS will commence in June and be completed by 31 August 2017.

In a further change this year, all ABS (excluding those for secure members) will be issued directly to members’ home addresses. This complies with the Disclosure of Information Regulations for Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes, which requires information to be sent to a person's last known postal address.  In accordance with the regulations, we will be notifying scheme members that we are considering electronic distribution in the future and allowing them to opt to continue to receive paper copies at their home address. 

Finally, following feedback from employers during last year’s exercise, MI regarding those members who receiving a statement, will be provided to employers in advance of the distribution of ABS.

Where employers do not provide the required data to MyCSP by the deadline of 31 May 2017, we have instructed MyCSP to produce an ABS based on the information held and to inform affected members of this via an insert in their statement. This ensures that the member is made aware that calculations are based on the most up-to-date information that MyCSP holds.

Pension Saving Statements (PSS)

Based on feedback from MyCSP and employers on last years PSS, we have made some enhancements to the process for 2017:

  • Prior to the production of PSS we will carry out pre and post calculation data checks to identify any data gaps.
  • Following this initial process, production of statements will commence one month earlier than last year i.e. July 2017.
  • Our aim will be to deliver the majority of PSS by 1 September 2017.
  • MyCSP will provide employers with a list of their employees receiving a PSS. 
  • Finally, in a further effort to raise awareness and understanding of this process, we will hold free-of-charge pensions and tax awareness training sessions for employers in the summer. Further details on these events will be provided issued to employers in the April edition of the new Employer Newsletter that is issued to pension leads.

In Employer Pension Notices (EPN) 465, 475 and 482 we notified employers of HMRC’s decision to align the Pension Input Period (PIP) with the tax year for all schemes. This requires MyCSP to value accrued pension precisely at the closing date of the PIP, as though the member left service on 5 April.  In turn this will require employers to provide an additional data interface (see below).

Interface and CARE-year end requirements for all statements

To meet this year’s deadline for issuing ABS and PSS, employers must provide the following data by 31 May 2017:

1)    You must provide both your March and April interfaces to MyCSP

2)    You must provide confirmation of CARE year-end closure to MyCSP.

3)    You must provide contributions and earnings data for affected members from the 1 April – 5 April inclusive. This is in addition to your usual April interface and should be provided via a manual interface – see EPN 475 for further guidance.

If you have any queries you have in relation to providing the additional five days’ data should be sent to: AA2017earnings@mycsp.co.uk  MyCSP will be hosting regular teleconferences to support employers during the PSS exercise. If you would like to take part, you should email AA2017earnings@mycsp.co.uk

If you think you may experience difficulties in providing the required interface or confirmation of payroll closedown by the deadline of 31 May 2017, support is available via your dedicated Interface Team Analyst (ITA). To contact your ITA, email interfaceteam@mycsp.co.uk

Support for members

Building on the positive feedback from members and employers from last years ABS exercise supporting communications and materials will be available on the dedicated pages of the scheme website www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk These will include:

  • Scheme-specific guides giving members a page by page explanation of their ABS
  • Glossary of terms
  • Q&A
  • Distribution schedule.

For the Civil Service, all members who receive a PSS will be given the opportunity to attend a group seminar which will be funded by the employing Department. The seminars are aimed at providing members with guidance to help them determine if a tax charge is applicable. Civil Service Departments will also provide members, who are liable for an Annual Allowance change, with an individual session (if they feel that one is required). Again, Departments will be funding this. For employers outside the Civil Service, we would encourage you to take a similar approach.

If you have any queries on any of the information contained in this EPN, please contact Sally Rowles:

Sally.Rowles@Cabinetoffice.gov.uk