EPN631 – 2021 Annual Statements Exercise, paperless ABS and the Pension Portal

Audience

  • Pension leads
  • HR managers

Summary

  • The distribution of Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) and Pension Savings Statements (PSS) will commence from late June 2021.
  • The distribution of ABS will be completed by 31 August.
  • This year, ABS will only be available online – unless members have requested to receive a paper copy. Members will need to login to the Pension Portal to view their ABS.
  • The distribution of paper PSS will be completed by the legislative deadline of 6 October, but where possible by 31 August.
  • ABS and PSS Management Information (MI) (including indicative MI on who will receive a PSS) will be provided.
  • Free annual statement awareness sessions for Civil Service employers are available.
  • Member ABS queries received by 31 December 2021 will be resolved by 28 February 2022.

Actions

  • To note when and how Annual Statements will be distributed, and how members can find out when to expect theirs.
  • 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 (from mid-June) and to promote these to your members.
  • For employers to attend a free of charge annual statement awareness session to support you in undertaking your responsibilities to any of your members who receive a PSS.
  • To help members get the right support if they have any queries.
  • To download and use the campaign materials provided to make members aware of the move to paperless ABS and Pension Portal registration.

Timing

  • Immediate 

Detail

1. Each year, we issue:

  • ABS to all eligible members; and
  • PSS to members who meet the criteria (see below).

When statements will be issued

2. Detailed distribution schedules are provided for both ABS and PSS on the dedicated ABS and PSS pages.

How statements will be issued

3. This year, ABS will only be available to view online. Unless a member has requested it, they will not receive a paper copy. For more information about this, please see section Paperless ABS, below.

We will send Annual Statements either to members’ home addresses (using addresses provided by employers) or for security reasons, to their employer.

ABS eligibility criteria

4. To receive an ABS, a member must:

  • 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
  • have been an active or active pensioner member of either the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme or alpha on 31 March 2021.

5. In addition, employers must also have provided a sufficient record of pension contributions (or pensionable earnings for members of alpha or nuvos) for the 2020/21 scheme year.

PSS eligibility criteria

6. To receive a PSS a member must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • exceeded the Annual Allowance limit of £40,000* in 2020/21;
  • earned over £100,000;
  • or they have requested one in advance of the annual exercise.

* 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.

Management Information (MI)

7. The Scheme Administrator will contact employers to request contact details of the appropriate person to send Annual Statement MI to.

8. The Scheme Administrator will provide indicative PSS MI by 30 June 2021. Indicative PSS MI is designed to help you determine if you would like to arrange any Tax awareness sessions for members who receive a PSS. Please note this is not a mandatory requirement.

9. Complete and member specific PSS MI will be issued to all employers by 17 September 2021.

10. If you believe that there are any members who earn over £100,000 missing from the PSS MI, please let us know, and we will check our records.

11. When ABS are ready to be distributed, the Scheme Administrator will produce MI of the members in your organisation where a statement has been produced. You should check this MI against your HR records to identify any eligible employees who they may have been unable to produce a statement for.

12. Following completion of the ABS exercise on 31 August 2021, you will also receive a final MI list by 10 September 2021.

13. 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.

14. 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 2021.

Support for employers

15. Please visit the dedicated ABS and PSS pages for information about ABS and PSS.

16. Free Annual Statement Awareness webinar sessions for Civil Service employers will take place on the 24th and 30th June 2021. 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.

Employer queries

17. Employers can contact the Scheme Administrator using the dedicated email address: SEABS@mycsp.co.uk

Please do not send individual member queries to this e-mail address.

Support for members

18. There is lots of information available for members on the dedicated ABS and PSS pages on the Civil Service Pensions website.

19. The Scheme Administrator offers group tax awareness sessions and pension tax one-to-one sessions to members who may have a pension tax charge to pay. Alternatively, you may wish to arrange your own sessions with another provider. It is not mandatory for employers to provide this support. 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. More information can be found on the website.

If a member has a query about their ABS or PSS

20. Queries regarding pension scheme information (for example employment history, reckonable service, the date they joined, transfer in history, extra benefits) should be sent to the Scheme Administrator. For the best way on how to contact the Scheme Administrator, members should visit the Contact Us page.

21. Queries relating to a member’s personal details (date of birth, National Insurance number, home or work address) should go to the member’s HR department or Shared Service provider.

22. ABS queries received by 31 December 2021 will be resolved by 28 February 2022.

Replacement statements

23. Members can access a printable version of their ABS in the Pension Portal. For more information about the Pension Portal, visit the guide to registering for the Pension Portal page.

24. Replacement PSS and Pension Input Amounts can be provided by the Scheme Administrator upon request.

Paperless ABS

25. This year, ABS will only be available online. Paper copies will not be issued to members unless they have specifically requested one.

26. Members will need to login to the Pension Portal to view their Annual Benefit Statement. There are some exceptions to this, such as if a member has opted out of paperless (currently around 2% of members) or there are special circumstances, for example, members are paid in Euros. In these instances, we will produce a paper copy and post it out in line with the distribution schedule.

27. Members who haven’t yet registered for the Pension Portal should follow our step-by-step guide on how to register.

28. ABS will be produced in line with the ABS distribution schedule (similar to last year). Production will start from 21 June and finish on 31 August. Employers are asked to communicate their dates to their members.

29. In April 2021, we asked employers to complete a survey to confirm whether they could email their staff or use other internal channels such as the intranet to promote the move to paperless ABS and Pension Portal registration. Thank you for your participation in this exercise, your feedback has been valuable in shaping how we move forward with the step to paperless ABS. Please note, if no response was received, your members will receive a courtesy paper copy if they have not registered for the Portal or if we do not we hold an email for them. You can check on the distribution schedule whether your members may receive a courtesy paper copy this year.

30. If you confirmed that you could not contact your members via any channel, your members will receive a courtesy paper copy of their ABS if they have not registered for Portal or we do not hold an email address for them.

31. To support employers, we have created a digital pack of campaign materials (below) for you to use. The campaign reminds members of the benefits of registering for the Pension Portal and informs them to view their ABS online. Please use these eye-catching materials which encourage members to visit the Pension Portal and scheme website.

Pension Portal promotion

32. Since its launch in 2019, more than 30% of members have registered for the Pension Portal. If you would like to see how many of your staff have registered, please speak to your Employer Relationship Manager.

33. On the Pension Portal, members can view their ABS, use the retirement modeller to project their pension, and update their Death Benefit Nomination and personal information.

34. Members who haven’t yet registered for the Pension Portal should follow our step-by-step guide on how to register.

35. Members need two pieces of information to create a Pension Portal account:

  • Registration Code
  • Personal Identification Code

36. The registration code is the eight-digit alphanumerical code which was issued to employers when the Portal was launched in 2019. It can also be found in the ‘Pension news’ newsletter sent to members by post between 26 February and 26 March 2021. If you are unable to locate this code, please contact your Employer Relationship Manager.

37. Please be advised that staff may ask you for the registration code. We are happy for you to promote the code as part of your paperless campaign.

38. The personal identification code is an eight-digit code containing only numbers. It can be found in the top-right hand corner of an ABS and will either appear as ‘Our Ref’ or ‘Member No’. It also appears as 'Member No' in the top-right hand corner of any letters received from Civil Service Pensions.

39. If a member has a question about the Portal, they should visit the dedicated web page. If they are still unable to resolve their query, they should email portal@mycsp.co.uk for assistance.

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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