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EPN515 - Data Cleanse of Active Members’ Records

Audience

  • HR Directors
  • HR Managers
  • Pension Leads
  • Any staff involved with the sending of shared service or payroll provider interfaces to MyCSP

Summary 

  • The Data Cleanse project was set up in 2016 following the National Audit Office report highlighting issues with the accuracy and completeness of active members’ data.
  • Phase one of the Data Cleanse has significantly reduced the number of data validation failures (DVFs).
  • We are now about to embark on Phase two, to tackle the remaining DVFs - split into three tranches (with different employers in each tranche).
  • This notice outlines what will happen and the vital role that you as an employer need to play. 

Action

As an employer, please ensure you:

  • note that a two year data cleanse exercise of active member records will commence from 30 Oct 2017;
  • put in place resources to undertake the necessary data cleanse activities;
  • fulfil the requirement to respond fully to all data quality issues identified within your active member’s records; and
  • note the implementation approach for data cleanse.

Timing

  • Immediate – for employers in tranche one.
  • Other employers (in tranches two and three) will need to cleanse records from the next financial year, but should note the likely timing and start planning accordingly.

Detail 

  1.     Employers’ responsibility to ensure member data is correct

As a reminder to all employers participating in the Civil Service Pension Scheme, you are required to provide accurate member data as set out within The Civil Service Pension Scheme Participation Agreement.  Where data errors are identified, it is your responsibility to correct any errors for which you are responsible, and remedy any of your processes that result in data failures.

1.1       National Audit Office (NAO) Report 2016

Following their investigation into members’ experience of civil service pension administration, the NAO published a report on the 11 February 2016 that identified longstanding issues with the accuracy and completeness of active members’ data, which impacts:

  • the time necessary to issue quotations and determine new pension awards;
  • MyCSP’s ability to provide members with accurate benefit statements;
  • the ability of the Civil Service Pension Scheme to produce accurate accounts to Parliament.

1.2    Data Cleanse: Phases one and two

In EPN 505 we confirmed that, as at October 2016, there was a significant volume of Data Validation Failures (DVF) within active members’ records. The first phase of data cleanse reduced the number of DVFs to 1.2 million, by applying bulk fixes and identification of issues that MyCSP could resolve centrally on behalf of employers.

To address the remaining DVFs, a second phase of data cleanse will commence on the 30 October 2017 for a 24 month period.

Phase one will require each employer to review individual member records and then confirm, delete or amend each DVF.

1.3       ITM Limited and ‘Precise’

ITM Limited are UK based pensions data cleanse experts who have been contracted by Cabinet Office for the next two years to assist employers in cleansing their active members’ data. 

They have developed, and will host and support an on-line portal called ‘Precise’ that will control the data flow, data correction and reporting for the phase two data cleanse.

ITM will also implement employer engagement, training, support and project management procedures designed to provide accurate and timely progress updates to the Cabinet Office as Scheme Manager, and ensure compliance to the two-year timescale for completion of phase two.

Member data and DVFs from MyCSP will be forwarded to ITM using Connect, which is an accredited data transfer tool already used for the submission of interface files.

ITM will provide employers with training before the data cleanse exercise commences and will use Account Managers to support employers during the data cleanse programme.

ITM has been through a stringent assurance process to accredit their IT Security - led by Information Assurance within Cabinet Office and The National Cyber Security Centre. All ITM employees who will handle member data will be SC (Security Check) level cleared. 

1.4       Timing of employer activity

The timing of your involvement in the programme will depend on the number of DVFs for your member or employee data. 

Tranche one

Data Cleanse Phase two will begin on the 30 October 2017 for:

  • HMRC
  • Ministry of Defence (MOD)
  • Government clients of Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL)

Tranche two

  • ITM will start contacting tranche two employers (those with more than 10,000 DVFs) towards the end of November 2017 with a view to hold a joint meeting with all department representatives in December 2017 to go through requirements in more detail.
  • Individual face-to-face meetings will be held in January 2018 to begin the process of employer on-boarding and rollout.
  • ITM will confirm a full rollout plan for all tranche two employers by the end of January 2018 for a go-live date in May 2018.

Tranche three

  • ITM will also confirm a tentative plan in January 2018 for all remaining tranche three employers (those with fewer than 10,000 DVFs) to confirm their requirements in more detail.

ITM will need to manage the programme over the two year period, but will endeavour to be flexible in the timing of your individual employer data cleanse activity (for example, if you wish to concentrate resource over a shorter period to complete your data cleanse earlier).   

However, all employers must ensure that they have sufficient resource to ensure that all cleanse activity is completed by no later than October 2019.

1.5       Rollout of data cleanse activity

Data Validation Failures (DVFs) will be released to you using ‘Precise’ in tranches based on age order, with the oldest first, so that those members who are closest to retirement can have their data cleansed first.

Within a tranche:

  • you can choose how you sequence the work in terms of which DVFs you tackle first;
  • all DVFs for a member will not simply be handed to the current employer; and
  • historic employer codes have been organised so that DVFs related to historic periods of service will be directed to the employer who is understood to be the current equivalent of the historic employer.

As an example, if a member currently works for DWP and there is a DVF that relates to previous service in Inland Revenue, this DVF would be presented for resolution directly to HMRC.  

This means that the requirement to contact other Government Departments to resolve DVFs should be significantly reduced. A full list of Data Cleanse lead contacts for all of the employers participating within the Scheme will be provided before you are asked to commence your cleanse work.

1.6       Costs and resource

Cabinet Office is funding the costs of the service that ITM are providing and the costs for the production of DVF data by MyCSP. Employers will be required to provide the resources to undertake the cleanse work itself.

Based on previous data cleanse activity, we estimate that each DVF will take 12 minutes to resolve, which should allow employers to make an initial estimate of their overall resource need.  We will further refine this estimate based on evidence from HMRC, MOD and SSCLs cleanse activity, and will keep employers updated via ITM.

1.7       Reminder - interface errors and warnings

As set out in EPN 505 employers and third party payroll providers acting on employers’ behalf must also continue to action all errors warnings shared as a result of the monthly interface process.

Some employers are still not doing this routinely, and improved management information is being introduced in November. This will allow Cabinet Office to more easily identify those employers.

Failure to action monthly data interface errors and warnings will increase the volume of DVFs that need to be tackled through data cleanse, and may lead to missing data on members’ records.

1.8       Contacts

If you require further assistance on the content of this EPN please contact adam.howell@cabinetoffice.gov.uk or nicola.gidden@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs please contact: employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.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 only and should not be issued to scheme members.

If members have a question about their pension, they should visit the Civil Service Pensions website or contact the Scheme Administrator.