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EPN540 - Changes to the 2017/18 Accounting Officer Certificate process

Audience

  • Accounting officers
  • Chief executive officers
  • Finance directors
  • Finance managers
  • Pension leads

Summary

This EPN provides information about this year’s Accounting Officer Certificate (AOC) process.

Action

1. Every participating Civil Service employer of the Civil Service pension scheme (including the PCSPS, alpha, and associated compensation arrangements) must ensure that they carry out their responsibilities in relation to the administration of the scheme. You can find these responsibilities in the Participation or Admission agreements that employers must sign.

2. Both Civil Service and New Fair Deal employers must complete the Annual Assurance Statement (AAS).

3. If you are a Civil Service employer, your organisation’s Accounting Officer (AO) is required to complete the AAS. If you are a New Fair Deal employer, you organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must complete the AAS.

4. The AAS helps the Civil Service pension scheme’s Accounting Officer to carry out their obligations to the Scheme, namely:

  • to ensure that the internal controls and operational processes of participating employers are robust and carried out in accordance with participation and admission agreements;
  • to confirm that your organisation’s AO (if you are a Civil Service employer) or CEO (if you are a New Fair Deal employer) has undertaken their obligation to the Scheme wi­th appropriate care and due diligence;

a. to remind employers of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the scheme; and

b. to highlight areas of risk, where we would expect employers to focus their assurance­­­.

5. We do not intend for the AAS to neither provide a detailed assessment of process performance, nor duplicate reporting carried out elsewhere in the scheme.

Completing and submitting the AAS

6. We will issue the 2017/18 AAS and guidance document to the person our record shows is responsible for completing your organisation’s AAS.

7. The steps below highlight how to complete the AAS.

Step 1

Read the guidance document that accompanies the AAS before completing it.

Step 2

Your organisation’s AO (if you are a Civil Service employer) or CEO (if you are a New Fair Deal employer) will then need to complete the Declaration Section of the AAS.

Step 3

Print the ­Declaration section of the AAS, so your organisation’s AO or CEO can sign it.

Step 4

Scan and send the signed declaration electronically, along with the completed AAS to AOC2018@mycsp.co.uk by 6 July 2018.

When submitting your AAS, please note the following:

  • We will not accept an incomplete AAS.
  • We will not accept your AAS after 6 July 2018.
  • You must include your organisation’s name in the electronic filenames of the AAS and separate declaration.

8. If you have not received your AAS by 1 June 2018, please contact us at AOC2018@mycsp.co.uk .

Changes to this year’s process

9. Last year we worked with the Government Internal Audit Agency, National Audit Office, and employers to undertake a comprehensive review of the Annual Accounting Officer process. As a result, we have made the following changes to the process.

We have renamed the Annual Accounting Officer Certificate to highlight that we require assurances from Accounting Officers of government employers and CEOs of New Fair Deal employers.

We have reduced the number of questions in the AAS.

We have delayed the start of the AAS exercise to allow employers time to focus on the new end-of-year process resulting from changes to the Pension Input Period.

We have aligned the ‘routine assurance statements’ that employers make of their basic responsibilities under the agreements and scheme rules each year. These include the maintenance of suitable processes; robust internal controls; and the correct calculation and payments of contributions.

10. To allow us to focus on analysing the results and related actions arising from the submission of assurances, the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) will manage the process of issuing and managing AAS returns.

11. If you have any questions about this year’s AAS process, please contact us at AOC2018@mycsp.co.uk .

Contacts

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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