Pensions Line October 2014

Peninsula Pensions

 A quarterly e-zine for Devon and Somerset LGPS employers


Pensions Liaison Officers Group (PLOG)

Next round of meetings
We are holding more employer meetings to update you with important  information. Details of the dates, times, and places are here. Please keep the dates free. A Special Pensions Line will follow which will answer any questions you might have

Administration Strategy (Employers’ Consultation)
We are in the process of drafting an Administration Strategy, which will set out the responsibilities of employers and Peninsula Pensions. It will also set out the timescales in which we expect employers to provide information to us, and in which we aim to provide information back to members and employers. The draft strategy will be issued to employers for consultation by early December, with the intention to have the final Strategy in place by 1 April 2015. Please look out for the draft strategy and send your comments back to us as all employers will be bound by the final Strategy once it is in place

Admin Roundup

Although we no longer need to record absences for a member’s CARE scheme data, it is still required when calculating the pre 2014 benefits as it could affect the pensionable pay figure on leaving, the Rule of 85 and the Underpin. So all employers must continue to inform us when a member has an unpaid absence in respect of Strike, authorised unpaid leave, unpaid child-related leave etc.  To help an employer to supply the required information there is an absence template which you can access here. On completion of the spreadsheet please email to the peninsula pensions secure mailbox

Have you formulated your Discretions Policy yet?
(If you are a Trust School this does not apply to you)  
A reminder that each employer in the LGPS has to formulate and publish a discretions policy, and this should have been done by 1 July 2014. Please see our website for guidance notes

Changes to the Leaver’s Form for Refunds 
We have been looking at refund calculations and there seems to have been some confusion about the information being provided by employers relating to Employees’ National Insurance Earnings. The information we require is the total Employee Contracted Out National Insurance Earnings (these are used to calculate the Certified Amount (CA)and Contributions Equivalent Premium (CEP). We are now arranging for the Leavers Form to be amended with the Following wording: 
‘Total of Employee’s National Insurance Earnings between the Lower Earnings and Upper accrual Point (Employee’s NI Contracted Out Earnings)’. 

Pension Strain Costs - Reminder to employers
When an employer makes certain decisions which result in  benefits being paid early to a member, the result is a strain on the Fund. The cost of providing these benefits early  are calculated and recharged in full to the employer who made the decision. The main categories of these costs are redundancy (for members aged over 55), efficiency (for members aged over 55), flexible retirement (for members aged over 55)* and waived actuarial reductions* (*these will arise from an employer exercising one of its discretions, which should be covered by their Employer Discretion Policy.
For more information on this matter please contact us  

Monthly Pensions Contributions Payments 
Please make only one payment each month equivalent to the “Total BACS Payment” entry on the monthly contributions form (originally called EAS5) you complete, and not split the total into separate payments. This will assist our Finance Team

October 2014

Devon Fund / investment updates

The Devon Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14 were approved by the Investment and Pension Fund Committee on 12 September and by the Devon County Council Audit Committee on 25 September. The Annual Report can be found here.  If you would like a hard copy of the Annual Report, please e-mail Mark Gayler.
Investment and Pension Fund Committee Minutes can be found here  and the latest investment update here

Somerset Fund / investment updates

All the Somerset CC Pension Fund committee papers are here, including an update on investment performance. 
Copies of the last five years of Pension Fund Accounts also availabe. Please contact Anton Sweet 01823 356854 with any questions


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