Date posted: 01/07/2007

Audience:

  • HR Managers and staff who have responsibility for the administration of the partnership pension account, the CSAVCS and the stakeholder arrangement; and
  •  Payroll managers and staff who handle payments to the money purchase providers.

Action: HR managers and staff are asked to:

  • note the introduction of web based payments as the preferred method for making pension contributions; and
  • liaise with payroll managers and then contact the money purchase providers about implementing this method of payment.

Timing: Within the next 6 months

  1. EPN8 issued on 27 May 2002 and section 4.2 of the Employer Pension Guide explains how employers and their payroll providers should notify the partnership pension account providers of the employer and employee contribution for partnership pension account members. A schedule template was provided in EPN8 for payrolls to send this information to the partnership providers on a monthly basis. The majority of schedules are currently submitted by email.
  2. Over the last year we have been talking to the three partnership providers, Standard Life, Scottish Widows and the TUC/Prudential, about introducing a more secure method of sending member information between employers and the partnership providers.
  3. What is web based scheduling? Web based scheduling is a method of sending the monthly schedule with member contribution information and data via the providers’ websites. This will replace the schedule your payroll provider currently emails to the partnership providers every month. You can use web based scheduling to automatically deduct the total contributions listed on the schedule from your payroll account. The money is not deducted until you submit your schedule. Alternatively you can use web-based scheduling for the transmission of member information but carry on making your payments by BACS.
  4. Why change to this method?

(a) it will significantly enhance security for employers and policyholders;

(b) it will simplify the payment process for employers;

(c) it will ensure all employer records are accurate and up to date by validating the information against the providers records before it is sent, helping you comply with the guidelines outlined in EPN8;

(d) it will improve the timeliness of payments and will ensure contributions can be invested in the policyholder’s fund within the current scheme service standard of 3 working days of the payroll date;

(e) it will improve the accuracy of the data transferred, as the information entered is processed automatically; and

(f) as the schedules are stored online it makes retrieval of information easy and readily available for inspection, meeting your regulatory requirements.

  1. Cabinet Office, Civil Service Pensions (CSP) as managers of the money purchase arrangements would like employers and payroll providers to start using this preferred method of sending policyholder information to providers as soon as possible. You should aim to implement web based scheduling, if possible, within the next 6 months.
  2. Security

The Corporate Sponsor for Information Assurance (CSIA) is aware and content for employers to use web-based scheduling to send policyholders details over the Internet. Although web based scheduling does not require CSIA accreditation it does meet the government security standard required.

  1. Cabinet Office, CSP in our role as managers of the money purchase arrangements commissioned independent specialists to review the security aspects behind all three providers’ websites. They were satisfied that all three providers exceeded BS7799 compliance standards. Their strong view was that web based scheduling is a safer and more secure method of transferring member information than e-mail. Additionally, as major established companies the providers have to meet financial sector security compliance as required by the Financial Services Authority.
  2. Pilot

Over the last few months CSP piloted the use of web based scheduling for partnership members with some employers. The employers and payroll providers involved in the pilot have commented how much time they save and how much easier their role is now they are using web based scheduling. Following the successful pilot CSP can now confidently recommend web based scheduling to all employers.

  1. What payments can be submitted via web-based scheduling?

All Civil Service money purchase schemes can be submitted via the respective providers secure web sites. They are:

  • partnership pension account - administered by Standard Life, Scottish Widows and TUC/Prudential;
  • stakeholder scheme administered by Standard Life; and
  • Civil Service AVC Scheme - administered by Standard Life and Scottish Widows. (NB you should continue to send Equitable Life member information by your current method)
  1. Separate schedules and payments need to be submitted for each separate scheme and for each provider as at present. Please continue to send new joiners’ application forms to the providers as soon as you have completed your action. This enables the providers to set up the member’s account before receiving any money from payroll providers.
  2. What do I need to do now?

We recommend that you contact the providers for more information on using web based scheduling. Each provider has developed an information booklet about their secure websites which they will be happy to send you and are also available to give you any additional information you may require. The providers can also offer additional support such as on-line demonstration tools, telephony support, and training.

  1. The providers will also be contacting employers, payroll providers and APACs who currently submit the pay schedules for the partnership pension account,CSAVCS and stakeholder schemes in the near future to help you move to this new payment method.
  2. When you change to web-based scheduling you will need to:
  • decide who in your organisation will have access to submit pension contribution schedules. They will of course need to have access to the Internet;
  • request access to the providers’ web site; and
  • continue using the existing forms to notify providers of any changes.

The providers are very keen to help you to switch to this new method and will be happy to support and instruct you where appropriate.

  1. You can use web-based scheduling for the partnership pension account, stakeholder and for AVCs. If you or your payroll is responsible for submission of pension contribution schedules for more than one provider, you will need to contact each provider separately to request access to their websites. All three provider web sites have been designed with ease of use in mind and although different, their functionality is broadly similar and all do meet the highest level of security (i.e. 128 bit security).
  2. Provider contact details are:
  • Standard Life Contact:
    Robin Stirling
    Scheme Manager
    TEL 0131 245 5208
    Email Robin_Stirling@standardlife.com
  • TUC/Prudential Contacts:
    Heike Burnell and Georgina Deacon
    TEL: 0845 070 6666
    E-mail: civilservice@prudential.co.uk
  • Scottish Widdows Contact:
    Adele Robertson
    TEL: 0131 655 2251
    Email: adele.robertson@scottishwidows.co.uk

Reference

This document refers to EPN8

Contacts:

Enquiries about content, distribution or to receive in a different format

employerhelpdesk@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
01256 846414
Employer Helpdesk
Civil Service Pensions
Grosvenor House
Basing View
Basingstoke
RG21 4HG

Published:
1 July 2007
Last updated:
25 January 2022