EPN632 - Cessation of easements and revised process for accepting documents, certificates and wet signatures

Audience 

  • Pension leads
  • HR directors
  • HR managers
  • Payroll managers
  • Exit/Redundancy manager

Summary

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we introduced a temporary relaxation of normal working processes in April 2020. With lockdown coming to an end, the Scheme Manager is now instructing all normal working arrangements to resume in relation to:

  • how we accept documents, identification and wet signatures (signed in black ink)
  • the DR1 (Data Request) process
  • partial Retirement CSP16

Actions

To note:

  • when the changes will take effect
  • how members will be made aware of the above changes
  • the removal of easements to the DR1 process
  • the removal of easements to Partial Retirement CSP16 forms

Timing

In line with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, which is currently expected to be 19 July 2021.

Detail

  • Due to the end of COVID-19 restrictions, we’re reversing a number of temporary changes we made to how we can accept documents, identification and wet signatures from members, employers and claimants.
  • The changes come into effect to coincide with the ending of lockdown restrictions. They will apply to active, deferred, and pensioner members, as well as dependant pension claimants.

What are the changes?

As communicated in EPN 602 - April 2020 a number of temporary changes were made to administration processes, during the pandemic, relating to how we could accept documents, certificates and wet signatures from members and claimants via email and scanned images.

As the government are working towards lifting all COVID-19 restrictions, the Scheme Manager has instructed that all practices will revert to pre-COVID-19 processes. For example, when the restrictions end, we will require original supporting documents such as Marriage or Birth certificates via the post.

When COVID-19 restrictions end, we will be unable to process supporting documents sent via email.

Members/employers must send via the post, such documents in line with the instructions provided on the form they are completing.

In addition to the above changes, we will also require members or claimants to:

  • Sign forms in black ink (also known as a wet signature)
  • Ensure a witness completes and signs forms (where relevant)
  • Supply forms to us via the post

Any cases that were sent electronically prior to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and returned or received electronically by MyCSP after restrictions are lifted will still be processed.

Use of online, editable forms

During the easements, we made editable versions of some of the most frequently used forms available on the scheme website. When COVID-19 restrictions end, members and claimants will still be able to complete these forms digitally, however, the forms must be returned to us in paper format with a wet signature and witness signature where relevant.

Should a member be unable to print a form, please advise them to contact the Scheme Administrator who will post one out.

Where a member wants to update their Death Benefit Nominee, members should be encouraged to utilise the Pension Portal.

How we are communicating these changes to members

Paper versions of the above forms, issued to members by post, will no longer include a message advising of the relaxation of requirements.

We will also remove the messages explaining the changes to processes on the following pages of the scheme website:

Important changes to the DR1 process

During the pandemic, some employers faced challenges when providing the Scheme Administrator with responses to DR1s - particularly where information was required from manual records.

With COVID-19 restrictions ending, we will be reverting the DR1 back to the pre-pandemic process.

Partial Retirement CSP16

The CSP16 form for Partial Retirements is issued to you to confirm that you have taken the necessary actions with your payroll to reduce the member's earnings/working pattern.

From the date COVID-19 restrictions end, the CSP16 will need to be printed, signed and returned to the Scheme Administrator.

Contacts

If you have any questions on the ending of easements please contact cspsemployerenquiries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

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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