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EPN545 - Defined Contribution Transition Project

Audience

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

Summary

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

Actions

  • To note the position for new staff who joined employment before 1 June 2018 and have requested Partnership membership.
  • To note the position for new staff who joined employment after 1 June 2018 and have requested Partnership membership.
  • To note the position for staff who are not currently a member of a Civil Service Pension scheme who request Partnership membership.
  • To note the update on arrangements for issuing the Master Trust Participation deed to employers.
  • To action the interface requirements on Scheme Category and Contribution Collection Group.
  • To action the process requirements for the New Joiner file and investment fund selection.
  • To note the position for Equitable Life members.
  • To arrange to contact existing scheme members and advise them of the Scheme Manager letter being issued in late-July 2018.

Timing

  • Immediate

Detail

1. In EPN527, we confirmed Legal & General (L&G) as the new DC provider and asked employers and payroll providers to initiate change requests to implement the transition to the new provider on 1 September 2018.

2. In EPN533, EPN538, EPN539 and EPN542, we provided further information about the transition project and guidance on the actions required by employers.

3. This EPN provides further updates on the transition project.

New joiners prior to 1 June who opt-out and ask to join Partnership

4. We have been asked to clarify the position for new joiners who started employment before 1 June 2018 and ask to opt-out and join Partnership within the first 3 months of employment.

5. If the instruction is received in time to process the request in the July or August payroll, then a plan should be set up for the staff member with their chosen provider i.e. either Scottish Widows or Standard Life.  The Partnership member will then become part of the transition process and contributions should be redirected to L&G from the September payroll.

6. However, if the instruction is not received in sufficient time then they should be asked to complete a Partnership Pension Account application form and enrolled with L&G from the September payroll run.

The application form can be found using the following link: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/member-forms/

New joiners post 1 June who opt-out and ask to join Partnership

7. We have become aware that some employers have issued old-style starter packs to staff who started employment after 1 June 2018. 

8. These packs reference Scottish Widows and Standard Life as Partnership providers and are incorrect for this group of staff members.

9. Please review the packs issued and recall any old-style packs that have been given to a staff member who started employment after 1 June 2018.  New packs should be ordered for these staff. You can find the form to request a new starter pack here: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/employers/employer-forms/

Requests to join Partnership Pension Account from staff who have previously opted-out of Civil Service Pension Schemes

10. If a staff member who has previously opted-out of all Civil Service Pension Schemes asks to join Partnership, they may join the L&G scheme from 1 September 2018.

11. The staff member should complete the new Partnership Pension Account application form and submit it to you, as their employer.

The application form can be found using the following link: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/member-forms/

Master Trust Deeds of Participation – Change of issue date

12. In EPN542 we advised you that the deeds of participation would be emailed to the registered employer contact by L&G on or around 14 June. 

13. The Deeds of Participation have been delayed and are being issued in two phases. 

  • Phase 1 – Employers who only have members in Partnership – the deed will be issued to you by no later than 6 July.
  • Phase 2 – Employers who only have members in the AVC scheme or who have members in both the AVC and Partnership schemes – the deed will be issued to you by no later than 13 July.

14. If your organisation has members in the AVC and/or Partnership scheme and you do not  receive an email by close of business on 13 July then please email DC.Transition@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

15. In order to allocate access to the Manage My Submissions interface portal, L&G will issue an e-form to you alongside the Master Trust Participation deed.

Scheme Category and Contribution Collection Group

16. In EPN533 we provided the L&G Interface Guide.  On page 6 of the guide, there is a reference to L&G providing a Scheme Category number and a Contribution Collection Group for each employer.

17. Following further discussions with L&G, it has been agreed that a specific allocation is not required for these categories.  Therefore, when submitting the interface, please put the number one in these columns against each member line.

18. An additional Frequently Asked Question on the New Joiner and Contribution interfaces is included in  Annex A.

New Joiner file for Partnership

19. Please see Annex B for additional guidance on the new joiner file for the Partnership Pension Account and the actions required to ensure the correct default investment fund is selected.

Member engagement

20. We remain on schedule to write to active members of the AVC (excluding Equitable Life members) and Partnership schemes, in lateJuly 2018, to advise them of the impact of the DC Transition Project.

21. We ask employers to email their scheme members to expect the letter and a suggested text for use in emails is attached as Annex C.

22. As the letters are not expected to be despatched until 25 July, please issue the email no earlier than 23 July.

23. Copies of the letters and Frequently Asked Questions will be added to the Employer DC webpage, on the Civil Service Pensions website, on 25 July.  The DC Member webpage on the site will also be updated.

Equitable Life

24. As previously noted in EPN539, members of the AVC scheme who are with Equitable Life are generally being excluded from the transition project due to the guarantees and special terms available within their policies. 

25. Our records show that a very small number of members are not in receipt of guarantees and special terms and these members will be transitioned.  If you have a staff member who falls into this category, then we will contact you separately to advise you of who needs to be transitioned from the September payroll.

Items for inclusion in future EPNs

  1. Release of the AVC application form and process details.
  2. Member engagement on the transfer of existing pension pots.
  3. 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 contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website.

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 on this website or by contacting the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP).

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