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EPN549 – Contributions Assurance Framework

Audience

  • Pension leads
  • Payroll managers

Summary

This EPN provides information about the Contributions Assurance Framework and the actions required by employers.

This is a new requirement driven by the need for the Scheme Manager to obtain greater assurance that the contributions are paid correctly on the correct pensionable salary.

Actions

  • To provide information, on request, for a sample of members.
  • The information provided will cover employer contributions and what makes up the pensionable salary (see the example Excel form attached to this EPN - Annex A).
  • Analysis of the information provided may result in requests for clarification on contribution rates and/or pensionable salary.
  • This will initially be on a monthly basis, reducing after that.

Timing

  • Immediate

Detail

1. As a result of audit findings from the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), as well as our own focus on financial management, we are looking to get greater assurance over contributions income received.

2. This will involve testing a sample of members each month, to recheck that their employer and employee calculations are the correct percentages. The test will also check that the pensionable salary is all pensionable and that no amounts have been included which shouldn’t have been or vice versa.

3. This is likely to reduce the amount of testing the GIAA and NAO need to do for future audits, as the focus will be more on what Cabinet Office (CO) Pensions Finance are doing to gain assurance. It will also increase the chance of CO Pensions Finance spotting errors on a timely basis, meaning they can be corrected sooner.

4. The pensionable salary and employee contribution samples will be obtained from interface files submitted to the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) by employers. CO Pensions Finance will then send the samples to the selected employers via a password-protected Excel spreadsheet. Data will have been anonymised (so member number only) and the largest sample will be 5 a month. Employers will be sampled on a rotation basis.

5. Employers should fill in the Excel spreadsheet with the employer contribution amount and what makes up the pensionable salary (there are two tabs) and return it to CO Pensions Finance (email address will be provided). The information should be sent back to CO Pensions Finance within 10 working days of receiving it.

6. CO Pensions Finance will then check that the information is correct. If it is not, further correspondence will occur and employers should respond within 10 working days of receiving it.

Contacts

If you require further assistance on the content of this EPN, please contact Ian Korner ian.korner@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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