Pensions Line - March 2018

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  March 2018

Employee Pension Scheme Contribution bands for 2017/18

The LGPC Bulletin 163 – October 2017 confirmed that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation for September 2017 was 3.0%. 

Although the appropriate order is not expected to be laid before Parliament until mid-March, an updated draft 2018/19 contribution table based on an increase of 3% is set out below:

Draft Contribution Tabel

Payment of Pension Fund Contributions

Please remember to inform us and the Finance team each time you have paid your pension scheme contributions, by filling in the Monthly Contributions form (EAS5) on our website.

Our Finance team currently have several outstanding payments where no EAS5s have been submitted or the figures are incorrect. If we receive the EAS5s right away with the payments - and they are correct - it makes the process so much easier, so please ensure that you build this form into your procedures.

Salary Sacrifice Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contributions (SSSCAVC)

Our in-house Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) provider Prudential has recently made arrangements to deal with Salary Sacrifice Shared Cost AVC (SSSCAVC) arrangements. In the last couple of months they have made SSSCAVC available to employers who want to offer this to their employees as a benefit along with the normal AVCs, provided their discretions policy allows SCAVCs.

The role out of SSSCAVCs has been staggered with a few employers trialling the process but it is now open to all employers.

The added advantage of the SSSCAVC arrangement is the possibility of the member paying less NI contributions on top of the normal tax relief, meaning the employer could pay less NI contributions too.

To find out more, please contact our regional representative from Prudential Sandra Fitzgerald who will be able to help you further.

Employer Pensions Discretions Policies

For those of you who attended our Employer PLOG meetings in January, you will hopefully remember that we discussed some recent advice from the Local Government Association (LGA) which clarified the employer approach to setting discretion policies. 

The LGA advises not to restrict or limit your decision and that a discretions policy should show the basis on which a scheme employer will consider exercising the discretions listed, and in doing so not fetter their decision. In other words, the policy should not be so rigid or restrictive to prevent flexibility where a situation requires it. 

That raised the question on how to say a polite no without restricting your flexibility and not binding employers to make the same decision in every single case. The LGA advises that in these cases, a scheme employer can state that its normal policy is not to exercise the discretion, but then goes on to explain the circumstances where the discretion might be exercised. For example:

"The authority will not exercise discretion x on grounds of cost, except in exceptional circumstances where there is clear merit or where the cost to the authority is not considered to be significant or material."

Other examples of wording can be found within our Discretions Policy Guidance notes on our website.

Annual Returns

Just to make you aware that our Annual Return request will be issued in early March. If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact Jane Aplin

Ill Health Retirements

The Pensions Ombudsman Service (TPOS) has expressed the importance of scheme employers obtaining narrative reports from independent registered medical practitioners (IRMPs) in dealing with ill-health retirement cases. Please see the Local Government Association’s Bulletin 164 for more details.

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision

Back in June 2017, there was an EAT decision which has potential impacts for employers on how to calculate a week’s pay for unfair dismissal compensation under section 221 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA1996).

It is in Bulletin 165 and relates to the University of Sunderland vs Drossou information within the News & Updates section. 


Employer Liaison Team


Quick links

Peninsula Pensions Employers' Pages

Peninsula Pensions  Employers' Guide

Ill Health Retirement Guidance

Pensionable Pay Guidance

Assumed Pensionable Pay Guidance

IDRP Guidance

LGPS regulations and guidance


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