Coronavirus – Business Continuity
With the current concerns about coronavirus and the evolving situation, Civil Service Pensions would like to provide confidence that we have the appropriate plans in place both within Cabinet Office and MyCSP to minimise any risks and to provide continuity of service to both members and employers.
This update also outlines the key support we need from you as part of these plans.
Our Business Continuity approach
We are following the current Government guidelines in relation to personal safety, hygiene and wellbeing, to ensure Pensions staff are taking the necessary precautions to avoid contracting Covid-19.
However given the nature of this pandemic we have undertaken a review of all pension administration activities and prioritised these into critical and non-critical activities.
The most critical activities have been identified as those that will need to continue even in the worst case scenario – these include pensions payments, both those already in payment and those due to go into payment, for example Age Retirement, Ill Health Retirement, etc.
If pension administration capacity reduces, there are agreed activities, deemed less critical, that will be paused (or slowed down) and restarted at a future date. Key staff have the technology support in place to be able to continue to work remotely when and where required. This will enable the administrator to deploy its personnel according to where the greatest need exists in order to protect service delivery.
We are holding meetings of the Scheme Administrator and the Scheme Manager (Cabinet Office) to review our resource and work priorities on a regular basis, to ensure that all the necessary decisions are being taken at the correct time, to avoid disruption for departments/employers and our members.
As a result of the Coronavirus, the Scheme Medical Advisor (SMA) has advised that it has put contingency plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to services. This includes working from home for clinical and SMA administration teams.
Due to the unprecedented demands on the NHS, there may be delays in processing applications where it is not possible to obtain information from GPs and specialists. Additional delays may also occur if Government Legislation is introduced that redirects healthcare providers to assist NHS activities.
What we need from you
The key input we need from you is the continued provision of member data. This includes:
- your CARE year end,
- PIP earnings
- your monthly interface
We also need you to respond to any data queries which will allow processing to continue. When finalising your own business continuity plans in light of the pandemic, please ensure such data input is classed as a critical activity. If data interfaces are not regularly received, there is a risk of error in processing old data which will ultimately lead to inaccuracies, poor member experience/service and the need for rework in the future.
If you think that the timely interfacing of data will become an issue for you, please notify your interface analyst in the first instance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel and visitors
MyCSP has taken the decision to move face-to-face meetings (whether hosted on their premises or yours) to telephone for the foreseeable future unless absolutely essential. Your Employer Relationship Manager will be in touch directly with regards to any upcoming meetings which may need to change format.
I hope the above gives you confidence that we’re taking the situation very seriously but please let us know if you have any further questions.
For Cabinet Office please contact email@example.com
For MyCSP, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep you updated on a regular basis by updating this page.
Thank you for your cooperation, it’s much appreciated.
Temporary changes to how we accept documents, certificates and wet signatures and easement of the DR1 process
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve temporarily changed the process for sending forms and supporting documents, and eased the Data Request Process (DR1), to ensure that we’ll be able to process important member requests.
As a result, from 20 April:
- Members have the optionto return their form and any supporting documentation to us by email
- We no longer require a signature or a witnesses’ signature to process forms
- The following forms can be completed electronically and returned to us by email;
- Death Benefit Nomination (DBN) Form
- Death Benefit Claim Form (one off payments)
- Dependant Pension Claim Form
- Bereavement Claim Forms
- Partial Retirement Application Form (CSP15)
- Members MUST provide consent in their email for us to process their form
- Members MUST provide a scanned copy or photograph of one form of ID such as a passport, driver’s license or utility bill
- Utility bills must be less than three months old and must not be a mobile phone bill
- If a member is employed in the Civil Service and uses a gov.uk email address to send us the information above, they don’t need to provide a form of ID
- Scanned copies or photographs of forms and documents must be clear and be easily read
- Forms can be emailed to email@example.com
Changes to the DR1 process
In order to support employers and to ensure that members can receive benefits due, we have revised the DR1 process.
As a result if,
- a DR1 request has exceeded a three week response time frame
- a reply remains outstanding, and
- the Last Date of Service (LDOS) has passed
The Scheme Administrator will process the members case based on the information they currently hold and be subject to our normal administrative ‘reasonability check’ to limit over/under payments.
For full details about the changes outlined above, please read EPN602.