Date posted: 01/06/2007
- HR Managers and policy teams;
- Staff dealing with your pensions administrator over annual benefit statements
- Note the suspension of State Pension forecasting by The Pensions Service (DWP) is probably beginning in late July (this does not affect production of annual benefit statements by your pensions administrator)
- Note that members reaching State Pension Age before 6 April 2010 will still be able to get an Individual State Pension Forecast from The Pensions Service (not from your pensions administrator)
- Issue the attached Office Notice informing scheme members about the suspension and the 2010 point
Timing: Issue the Office Notice as soon as possible having spoken to your APAC as in paragraph 6 below.
- As part of the annual benefit statement your pensions administrator (APAC) provides members with a forecast of the State Pension they might be getting when they reach State Pension Age (SPA), unless they have asked not to receive this information. To do this your APAC relies on DWP’s The Pensions Service (TPS) to supply them with individual member State Pension forecast data, which is then included as part of the scheme annual benefit statement. This is called a Combined Benefit Forecast (CPF).
- The Pensions Bill currently going through Parliament changes the rules on State Pensions, including their qualifying conditions and the age from which they are payable. TPS is advising pension schemes that it is highly likely the Bill will be getting Royal Assent towards the end of July. If the July Parliamentary time-slot is missed Royal Assent would be sometime during Autumn. TPS is however strongly advising pension schemes to work towards the end-July date.
- As a result of the changes in the Bill TPS’s IT systems will need re-programming, including that part dealing with CPF data. The re-programming might take around 12 months. It will not be possible for TPS to continue providing State Pension data to your APAC for your members during this period.
- The CPF process is currently automated within your APAC’s pensions administration software. Going forward we have needed to find a solution to not having the State Pension element that is practical, needing only minimal changes to the existing process.
- The process that we are adopting for the period after Royal Assent is given in late July (a firm actual date is not yet known) means that APACs:
- will stop providing any State Pension forecast data to members as part of their scheme annual benefit statement
- will continue sending members annual benefit statements showing their earned Civil Service pension, but with text in the statement explaining the absence of a State Pension forecast
- Obviously much depends on the timing of Royal Assent. We will be liaising with TPS over this and letting your APAC know when there is firm news. We must however work towards Royal Assent being in late July. As employers, you should be liaising closely with your APAC if they are planning on sending out benefit statements to your members around July/August, because this might influence the timing of your issuing the Office Notice. If your APAC is not planning on issuing CPFs until after July then you can issue the Office Notice now, but you would need to wait until the Royal Assent date is known.
- Your APAC may be in touch with you if they see the possibility of sending out CPFs before Royal Assent. In the vast majority of cases however, this will not be possible.
Members reaching State Pension Age before 6 April 2010
- People reaching State Pension Age (SPA) before 6 April 2010 are not affected by the changes in the Bill. It is however not open to your APAC to request State Pension details for these individuals. The individuals may contact TPS directly if they wish, when they will be provided with an individual forecast. They will be told this in their annual benefit statement, and we have also included this message in the attached Office Notice. NOTE: people reaching SPA on or after 6 April 2010 will not be able to use this service.
This document refers to PC278
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