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EPN539 - Defined Contribution Transition Project

Audience

  • Pension leads
  • HR managers
  • Payroll managers
  • Finance managers 

Summary

This EPN provides additional information about the Defined Contribution Transition Project and the actions required by employers.

Actions

  • To confirm the closure of Scottish Widows and Standard Life interfaces from September 2018.
  • To inform employers and payroll teams of the new starter process from 1 June 2018.
  • To inform employers and payroll teams of the process for members who request to switch to Partnership on or after 1 June 2018.
  • To instruct employers of the actions required to participate in the Legal & General Master Trust.
  • To inform employers of the impact the transition to a new DC provider may have on members.

Timing

  • Immediate.

Detail 

1. In EPN 527, we confirmed Legal & General (L&G) as the the new DC provider and asked employers and payrolls to initiate change requests to implement the transition to the new provider on 1 September 2018.  

2. In EPN533 and EPN538, we provided further information about the transition project and guidance on the actions required by employers.

3. Further to that information, in this EPN we have included the following information.

  • Confirmation for existing providers about what to do with interfaces after September 2018.
  • Information on how to process new starters after 1 June 2018, and a reminder of how to obtain a new starter pack.
  • The process for members who request to switch to Partnership after 1 June 2018.  
  • The legal requirements of participating in the L&G Master Trust.

Existing provider interfaces

4. At present, you can transfer data and contributions to Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Prudential or Equitable Life.

5. However, in EPN538, we confirmed that you could close the Prudential interface as contributions will not be made to this provider after the September 2018 payroll.

6. We can now confirm that you can close the Scottish Widows and Standard Life interfaces as contributions will not be made to these providers after the September 2018 payroll.

7. Due to the guarantees and protections provided by Equitable Life to their policyholders, the majority of their members will continue to contribute to their plans. As a result, it is likely that you will need to retain the Equitable Life interface. We will advise you in July if any Equitable Life members within your employment are to be migrated.

New starters from 1 June 2018

8. From 1 June 2018, new starter packs will refer to Legal & General as the Partnership pension provider.

9. In the future, when a new starter opts-out of alpha (or another defined benefit scheme) and chooses to opt-in to Partnership, their Partnership account will be set up with Legal & General.

10Where employment started on or after 1 June, and you receive the request in time for processing in the August payroll, the opt-out should be pended and processed in the September payroll. All other requirements for processing the move to Partnership remain unchanged.

11. The L&G microsite will be available to members from 1 June 2018.

12. The Partnership Pension Account Application Form will be available on the Civil Service Pensions website from 1 June 2018. The application form is for use by employers and should not be forwarded to Legal & General.

New starter packs

13. You can request a new starter pack by completing the New Starter Pack Request Form which can be found here: www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/employers/employer-forms/

14. Please do not use locally stored versions of the new starter pack downloaded from the Civil Service Pensions website as it affects our ability to update the pack.

Switching to Partnership

15. If a member of one of the defined benefit schemes (for example alpha) requests a switch to Partnership, they must provide two months’ notice.

16. Requests made in June 2018, will result in a Partnership pension account being established and effective from September 2018 payroll. In these cases, a new Partnership pension account should be established with L&G for these members.  

17. A new Switching Form and Partnership Pension Account Application Form will be available on the Civil Service Pensions website on 1 June 2018.  These forms are for the use of employers and the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) and should not be forwarded to Legal & General.

Legal requirements for employer engagement with the L&G Master Trust

18. In order to participate in the Legal & General Master Trust, employers will need to complete a Master Trust Deed of Participation.

19. This is required for each section of the Master Trust in which you have active members. If you have members in both the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme (CSAVCS) and Partnership sections, you will need to complete two deeds.

20. This applies to all employers, including UK Government departments, Schedule 1 Bodies and New Fair Deal Employers. During Regional Employer Forums we previously indicated that all government departments could be covered by a single deed, however following legal advice this position has now changed.

21. In order to issue you with the relevant deeds, we need to obtain confirmation of your requirements. 

22. To do this, we issued an email to all employers’, excluding Government Departments, on 25 April. If you have not already responded to this request please do so immediately.

23. We will email the nominated contact for the DC Transition Project in every Government Department by Friday, 11 May.  If you are the nominated contact for the DC Transition Project and have not received your email by 11 May, please contact: DC.Transition@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Impact of planned transition activity on existing scheme members

24.  In EPN508, we outlined the potential impact of the transition on existing scheme members.  We have provided further clarification about this in the attached document (below): Member Populations.

Please note that this information is not for circulation to members.

25. We remain on course to write to all active scheme members in July 2018 to confirm how the transition will affect their CSAVCS or Partnership pension account.  This letter will focus on the contribution switch.

26. We will take the data cut for the letters from the existing providers by 14 June. In order to ensure that this data is as accurate as possible, we ask that employers write to all their CSAVCS and Partnership members to ask them to check that their personal details are correct.  Those enrolled with Scottish Widows, Standard Life and Prudential should advise their provider of any required changes. Equitable Life members should advise the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) if any changes are required.

27. Where appropriate, members will receive further information in November 2018 about the transfer of their existing pension assets.

Items for inclusion in future EPNs

  1. Confirmation of the website updates notified above.
  2. Details of the support to be provided to members through the transition process.
  3. Confirmation of the arrangements for issuing the Master Trust participation deed(s) to employers for execution.
  4. Arrangements for employer and payroll enrolment and training on the L&G Interface.­­

Contacts

If you require further assistance on the content of this EPN, please contact DC.Transition@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs or you need to receive them in a different format contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of the Employers’ Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk under ‘Employers’.

This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members. 

If members have a question about their pension they can find information at:

http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/

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