Date posted: 27/05/2020
- HR managers
- Pension leads
- Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) and Pension Savings Statements (PSS) distribution will commence mid-June 2020. The distribution of ABS will be completed by 31 August and the distribution of PSS will completed by the legislative deadline of 06 October, although we will plan to complete distribution of PSS, where possible, by 31 August.
- Management Information (MI) will be provided for both ABS and PSS; including early indicative MI for members expected to receive a PSS.
- Free PSS awareness sessions for Civil Service employers will be made available.
- Group member tax awareness sessions and if required, pension tax one-to-one sessions for members, will be available. The sessions are paid for by employers and are therefore free for members to attend.
- Completion of end of year interface file submissions.
- Details of how to contact the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) are provided.
- All member ABS queries received by 31 December 2020 will be resolved by 28 February 2021.
- To ensure that end of year payroll closure and interface requirements have been completed on time.
- To note the period during which Annual Statements will be distributed.
- To inform members about when they can expect to receive their statement(s).
- To review the MI provided and work with the Scheme Administrator to ensure all eligible members receive their statement(s).
- To be aware of the dedicated ABS and PSS pages on the Civil Service pension scheme website and member help centre (from mid-June) and promote these to your members. The help centre is where members can find information fast.
- For employers to attend a free-of-charge PSS awareness training session to support you in undertaking your responsibilities to any of your members who receive a PSS.
- For Civil Service employers to provide employer funded support for group and one-to-one tax awareness sessions for members who receive a PSS.
- Ensure that tax awareness sessions are booked as soon as possible along with other requirements such as room bookings.
- To help members get the right support if they have any queries.
Each year, all eligible scheme members are issued with an ABS. Additionally, members who may have a supplementary tax charge to pay in relation to their pension benefits are also issued with a PSS. Together, these documents are referred to as Pensions Annual Statements.
Payroll closure and interface requirements
1. In order to meet this year’s deadlines for issuing Annual Statements and to provide you with information to support the completion of Annual Reports and Accounts, you must have provided the Scheme Administrator with the following:
- Your regular interfaces, no more than two days before or after your agreed submission date (unless you have agreed an earlier submission date with the Scheme Administrator, to support the completion of your Annual Reports and Accounts).
- Confirmation of CARE Year End closure (closing down the financial year for CARE scheme members).
- Provision of the additional five-day Pension Input Period (PIP) data.
See EPN594 for further information on the submission of your end of year data monthly interfaces.
2. If you have not yet provided the Scheme Administrator with the above information, you must contact them immediately. Failure to submit the required end of year data on time may result in inaccurate Annual Statements or even non-distribution of statements to members who are eligible to receive one.
Distribution of Annual Statements will commence in mid-June and be completed for ABS by the deadline of 31 August 2020. For PSS, the legislative deadline is 6 October 2020, however, the Scheme Administrator will complete distribution of the majority of PSS, where possible, by 31 August 2020. This will allow the maximum possible time for employers and members to plan and organise any necessary activities.
Annual Statements are sent to members’ home addresses (unless, for security reasons, you have already agreed alternative arrangements with the Scheme Administrator). Detailed distribution schedules will be provided for both ABS and PSS on the dedicated Annual Statements web pages on the Civil Service pension scheme website and the member help centre from 8 June 2020. These will provide you with information about when your eligible employees can expect to receive their statements.
Management Information (MI)
The Scheme Administrator will be contacting all employers to ask for the contact details of the most appropriate person in your organisation to receive the Annual Statements MI.
The following MI will be provided to employers.
- To help you with planning and funding arrangements for group and one-to-one tax awareness sessions for your employees, the Scheme Administrator will provide indicative PSS MI by 30 June 2020. This will not be member specific but will contain the number of members in your organisation the Scheme Administrator expects to issue a PSS to in 2020.
- Following the completion of calculations, complete and member specific PSS MI will be issued to all employers by 18 September 2020.
- Details of when your organisation’s statements are being distributed will be available from 8 June 2020 on the dedicated ABS pages on the member section of the Civil Service pension scheme website and the member help centre.
- When the Scheme Administrator is ready to distribute your employees’ ABS, they will produce MI of the members in your organisation for who they have successfully produced a statement for. You will then be able to check this MI against your HR records to identify any eligible employees who they may have been unable to produce a statement for.
- Following completion of the ABS exercise on 31 August 2020, you will also receive a final MI list by 10 September 2020.
- If you have any queries about members who have potentially been missed, please wait until you have received your final MI list before contacting the Scheme Administrator.
- Once you have received your final MI list you must review the data provided and where necessary inform the Scheme Administrator of any concerns. If there are any subsequent queries with regards to your final MI list these must be issued to the Scheme Administrator no later than 31 December 2020.
Eligibility criteria required to produce ABS
In order for the Scheme Administrator to produce a 2020 ABS, the member must:
1. be an active or active pensioner member of either the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (classic, classic plus, premium, nuvos) or alpha at the time of production; and
2. have been an active or active pensioner member of either the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme or alpha on 31 March 2020.
3. Employers must also have provided a sufficient record of pension contributions (or pensionable earnings for members of alpha or nuvos) for the 2019/20 scheme year.
Eligibility criteria to receive a PSS
The Scheme Administrator will send a 2020 PSS to members who meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. they have exceeded the Annual Allowance limit of £40,000* in 2019/20;
2. they earn over £100,000; or
3. they have requested one.
* Please note: high income individuals may be subject to a tapered Annual Allowance.
Further information and guidance on how to calculate tapered Annual Allowance can be found on HMRC’s website.
Support for employers
- Detailed ABS and PSS pages will be available on the Civil Service pensions website and the member help centre from the start of June 2020. These are a valuable source of information. Please take the time to view them and promote them to your employees.
- To support you in carrying out your responsibilities, the Scheme Administrator will be providing PSS awareness webinar sessions for Civil Service employers. Sessions will take place throughout June 2020. They are free of charge and open to all Civil Service employers. Please visit the MyCSP training web pages for information about how to book a session.
- Detailed MI (as described above) will be provided, and it is important that you work promptly with the Scheme Administrator to ensure that all eligible members receive their statements by the regulatory deadline.
Support for members
- Once again, detailed information will be available on the dedicated ABS and PSS pages on the Civil Service pensions website. This is a valuable source of information and should be the first place that both employers and members go to for more information about ABS and PSS.
- ABS and PSS information will also be available on the new member help centre which is designed to help members find information fast.
- An insert will be included within the PSS envelope sent to members which will raise awareness of support available to them, including the face-to-face tax awareness sessions, referenced below. A copy of the insert, which has been reviewed by a selection of employers, is on Annex A for your information.
- The Scheme Administrator will offer group tax awareness sessions and if required, pension tax one-to-one sessions for members who may have a tax charge to pay in relation to their pension benefits. Alternatively, you may wish to arrange your own sessions with another provider. In line with previous years, if you are a Civil Service employer, you are required to provide group sessions to all members who receive a PSS, and one-to-one sessions to all members who think they have a tax charge to pay. You are required to fund these sessions. If you are not a Civil Service employer, you are not obliged to provide these sessions but may wish to. For information about how to book a session, please visit the MyCSP training web pages. The sessions this year will be delivered by webinar in addition to telephone calls. Face-to-face sessions may also be available depending on the government advice at the time. More information can be found on the website.
Member queries relating to ABS and PSS
Depending on the nature of their query, members need to direct it to the appropriate source of help.
1. Queries regarding their pension scheme information (for example their employment history, reckonable service, the date they joined, transfer in history, extra benefits), should be sent to the Scheme Administrator. This can be done in one of three ways.
for ABS: email@example.com
for PSS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members who send their query by email will receive an auto response confirming receipt.
Civil Service Pensions, PO Box 2017, Liverpool, L69 2BU
Please note: members should include copies of any supporting documentation when emailing or writing to the Scheme Administrator.
for ABS and PSS: 0300 123 6666
2. For queries relating to a member’s personal details (for example date of birth, National Insurance number, home or work address); members should contact their HR department or Shared Service provider in the first instance.
You should make members aware that all ABS queries received by 31 December 2020 will be resolved by 28 February 2021.
Employers can contact the Scheme Administrator using the dedicated email address: SEABS@mycsp.co.uk
Members can request a free paper copy of either their original ABS or PSS by contacting the Scheme Administrator. Members will be able to access an electronic copy of their ABS through the online portal. However, should a member need a replacement copy of their PSS, this will still need to be requested from the Scheme Administrator.
If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs, or would like to receive them in a different format, please contact EPN@MyCSP.co.uk.
You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms in the Employer section of the Civil Service Pensions website.
This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members.
Members can find information about their pension by visiting the member's section.