8.1.1 Compendia is the pension administration software used by the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) to administer the Civil Service Pensions (CSP) arrangements.

8.1.2 Compendia is used to administer classic, classic plus, premium, nuvos and alpha. It is also used to administer the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), the Civil Service Injury Benefit Scheme (CSIBS) and Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC), such as added pension.

8.1.3 The software has an associated database that is designed to hold information on employees, including:     

  • personal information such as date of birth, address and death benefit nominees;
  • pensionable earnings, contributions and other salary related histories; and
  • service history (including service in other organisations covered by the CSP arrangements and transfers in from other pension schemes).

8.1.4 Compendia deals with all processes through a series of workflows. These set out all the individual administrative tasks needed for every area of scheme administration including, but not restricted to, the calculation of scheme benefits and the production of Annual Benefit Statements (ABS).

Responsibility for accuracy of data

8.1.5 As the employer, you are responsible for your payroll/payroll provider passing accurate and timely information to the Scheme Administrator by means of an electronic interface. The different types of interface that are available to you start at section 8.1.9.

8.1.6 You are responsible for providing information about new employees, leavers, changes to existing employees and pay to your payroll. This information is then passed to the Scheme Administrator through the interface on a monthly basis in accordance with your scheduled interface delivery date. This date must be agreed with the Scheme Administrator.

8.1.7 The Participation Agreement (PA) places responsibility on you as the employer to ensure that the personal information used for CSP arrangements is current and correct. You are also required to confirm that the Scheme Administrator is holding current and correct data on the Annual Assurance Statement (AAS) and checklist. The PA also refers to payroll information. You must ensure that your payroll system can transfer data to Compendia in line with the specification of the interface. If you are an employer who uses or will use an external payroll provider, you should ensure they have a compatible interface.

8.1.8 Whether you have an in-house payroll or a contract with an external payroll provider you, as the employer, must be certain that you have sufficient understanding of how your payroll system works to ensure that it creates your interface data as required by Compendia. It also helps you meet your statutory obligations such as those under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Your responsibility for accurate data extends to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme, partnership pension and designated stakeholder arrangements.

Types of interfaces

8.1.9 There are two GDPR compliant interface formats for transferring data from your payroll to the Scheme Administrator which are the Standard and the Manual Interface. Please note that for any employers on the legacy Full Interface, the Scheme Administrator will provide support to migrate to one of the two GDPR compliant formats. You will have to meet the costs for this support.

8.1.10 The Standard Interface must be used for the submission of your Monthly Interface (with the exception of employers with less than 100 employees, who may use the Manual Interface, if development of a Standard Interface is not cost effective).

8.1.11 The Standard Interface contains a number of files that are to be provided to the Scheme Administrator in a fixed-width record format. The Manual Interface is a pre-formatted spreadsheet that is converted into a set of Standard Interface files by the Scheme Administrator.

8.1.12 The Developer’s Guide for both interface formats are available and should be requested directly from the Scheme Administrator. Additional supporting documentation in the form of a Data Validation guide and a Pension Scenarios document, are also available on request from the Scheme Administrator.

Interface validation process

8.1.16 On receipt of your Monthly Interface, the Scheme Administrator will validate the files to safeguard the data integrity. The Compendia Data Validation Checks (DVCs) will reject records that are considered impossible and warn against records that are possible, but unlikely. The validation checks will also warn employers when it cannot find expected/required records. It is your responsibility to ensure that Data Validation Failures (DVFs) are accurately actioned each month before the submission of your next Monthly Interface. If you work with a third party HR or payroll provider, you must ensure they have a defined process to action DVFs and correct the data on their HR/payroll systems. An interface validation user guide is available from the Scheme Administrator on request.

Transferring your interface data

8.1.13 Your payroll interface data must be transferred to the Scheme Administrator by a secure method. The Scheme Administrator recommends the use of their web based secure portal ‘Connect’ which has been certified by the Cabinet Office Security Working Group. Employers should contact their dedicated Scheme Administrator Interface Analyst for details on how to become a Connect user. 

8.1.14 Where the data is written to portable media e.g. a USB stick, it should be done in a secure environment. The data should be encrypted to AES 256 bit standard and protected by a complex password, which must be at least 10 characters long and have both upper and lowercase letters and at least one numerical digit. All portable media should be transported by a secure courier using a tracked service.

8.1.15 You are reminded that any data stored electronically is subject to the provisions of the current Data Protection legislation. Any processing carried out by a data processor (such as an external payroll provider) on your behalf, must be done under a written contract or SLA.

Monthly interface performance measures

8.1.17 The purpose of performance measures is to help you to improve the timeliness and quality of monthly data submissions by clearly outlining what the Scheme Administrator expects of you. It also gives you information on how you are performing.

8.1.18 The performance measures and targets are as follows:


  • Submit a single interface file per month, no more than two days before or after your agreed submission date. 
  • If you are advised of DVFs in your data, submission of a Data Validation Report return ahead of your next interface. 


  • No more than 2% or 100 data errors in your initial interface submission reducing errors to 1% in 2019 and 0.5% in 2020.
  • If you are advised of DVFs in your data, submission of a single completed Data Validation Report return. 

8.1.19 The Scheme Administrator will monitor your performance against the measures and targets. Where you are unable to meet these targets, the Scheme Administrator will offer guidance and support, and if necessary, work with you to create a plan to improve your performance. However, further escalation through the Scheme Manager (Cabinet Office) may be required where performance does not improve. If you are concerned that you will not be able to meet the new performance targets and measures, please contact your Interface Analyst or Employer Relationship Manager.

Changing payroll provider – managing the development of the interface

8.1.20 If you are planning to change your payroll provider or develop a new in house Compendia interface, you must give the Scheme Administrator a minimum of six months notification. You must ensure your interface is developed using the latest version of the Interface Developer’s Guides which the Scheme Administrator will supply on request. You must also ensure your interface is developed in accordance with the Civil Service Pension Scheme rules and passes the Scheme Administrator interface validation process. For planning and managing the development and testing of your Compendia interface, you will require IT and Payroll expertise. The timetable for the development and testing process will vary according to the size and complexity of your payroll; this must therefore be considered carefully to ensure that your interface process is in place before your new payroll goes live.

8.1.21 You will have to meet the costs arising from the development and testing of the interface. All of the Scheme Administrator’s testing costs must be agreed with the Scheme Administrator before any development work commences. Please note that if your new payroll provider already has an existing electronic interface to Compendia, testing will still be needed to make sure the interface can handle your employees’ data accurately.

Acceptance testing stages

8.1.22 There are three phases to the testing: Format, Cutover and Monthly changes. To accept your interface, the Scheme Administrator may need to perform all or some of the phases. This must be agreed with the Scheme Administrator before any development is started.

  • Format testing is required to ensure that your interface is built in accordance with the Developer’s Guide.
  • Cutover testing is required to ensure that all your employees’ data is accurately and seamlessly migrated to the new payroll and that the new interface accurately reflects the day one position.
  • Monthly changes testing is required to ensure that the new interface can accurately and timely capture the employee data changes that are made in your new payroll e.g. a new joiner or the deletion of an incorrect payment.

CARE Year End and submission of five day Pension Input Period (PIP) data

8.1.24 In order for the Scheme Administrator to issue Annual Statements and to provide you with information to support the completion of Annual Reports and Accounts, you must have provided the Scheme Administrator with the following:

  • Your regular interfaces, no more than two days before or after your agreed submission date.
  • All data to be up to date and correct for all employees by the end of the scheme year (31 March).
  • Confirmation of CARE Year End closure (closing down the financial year for CARE scheme members) by the agreed deadline with the Scheme Administrator.
  • Provision of the additional five-day PIP data, by the agreed deadline.
5 January 2022
Last updated:
5 September 2022