EPN630 - 2020/21 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.

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 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 either provide a detailed assessment of process performance, nor duplicate reporting carried out elsewhere.

Completing and submitting the AAS

6. We will shortly be issuing the 2020/21 AAS 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 pop-up guidance on the AAS questionnaire as you answer the questions.

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. If this isn’t possible, an electronic signature is acceptable.

Step 4

Send the signed Declaration electronically, along with the completed AAS to AAS2021@mycsp.co.uk by 31 July 2021.

When submitting your AAS, please note the following.

  • We will not accept an incomplete AAS.
  • Your AAS will be marked as late if provided after the 31 July 2021.
  • 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 18 June 2021, please contact us at AAS2021@mycsp.co.uk.

9. The Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) 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.

  • Continued acceptance of the digital completion of the AAS to support employers who may not be fully transitioned back into the office.
  • 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 is provided where required.
  • Additional questions relating to employers Business Continuity plans, Employer Administrations Guidance training, and your ability to support the 2015 Remedy Programme.

11. If you have any questions about this year’s AAS process, please email AAS2021@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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