EPN607 - 2019/20 Annual Assurance Statements (AAS) exercise

Audience

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

Summary

This EPN provides information about this year’s Annual Assurance Statement (AAS) process.

Actions

  • To note the actions for participating Civil Service employers of the Civil Service pension scheme (including the PCSPS, alpha, and associated compensation arrangements) in regards to the completion of the Annual Assurance Statement (AAS).
  • To note the improvements to this year’s AAS process.
  • To note the date by when you should have received your AAS.
  • To note the date by when you are required to return your completed AAS. 

Timing

  • Immediate

Detail

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 agreement 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, your organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must complete the AAS.

4. The AAS helps the Civil Service pension scheme’s AO to carry out their obligations to the Civil Service pension scheme (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 the following obligations to the Civil Service pension scheme with appropriate care and due diligence:
    • to remind employers of their role and responsibilities in relation to the Scheme; and
    • 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.

Completing and submitting the AAS

6. We will issue the 2019/20 AAS and guidance document to the person our records show 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.

Step 2

Your organisation’s AO (if you are a Civil Service employer) or CEO (if you are a New Fair Deal employer) will 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 AOC2020@mycsp.co.uk  by 4 August 2020.

When submitting your AAS, please note the following.

  • We will not accept an incomplete AAS.
  • We will not accept your AAS after 4 August 2020.
  • You must include your organisation’s name in the electronic filename of the AAS and separate declaration.

8. If you have not received your AAS by 24 June 2020, please contact the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) at AOC2020@mycsp.co.uk.

9. The Scheme Administrator is responsible for issuing and managing AAS returns to enable us to focus on analysing the results and related actions arising from the submission of assurances. Changes to this year’s process 

10. We have made the following improvements to this year’s AAS process.

  • We have reviewed the statement to ensure that the language being used is simple and easy to understand. Enhanced validations will ensure that responses to questions are complete and supporting documentation provided where required.
  • An additional question has been added relating to departments who have contracting authority over New Fair Deal organisations, to seek assurances that departments are providing the support to the NFD employer that is required of them.
  • We have asked employers to provide detail on their top three concerns/issues for the next 12 months so that we can understand potential challenges and build them into future planning.

11. Should you have any questions about this year’s AAS process, please email AOC2020@mycsp.co.uk.

Contacts

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.

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