Pensions Line - February 2020

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 February 2020

Employer PLOG Meetings 2020


Thank you for everyone who attended our annual meetings – the presentation slides and accompanying questions and answers can be found here.

Important Date

The ESS leaver process has now been in place since June 2019 but we are still receiving some leaver forms via email. Please note that from Monday 2nd March 2020, we will no longer accept any leaver forms via email and the forms will be returned to you with a request to submit via ESS. If you have any questions or need help with moving to ESS, please contact Emma Davies.

Revised Leaver form

A revised form has been in place since 10th February 2020 to address and reduce the most common errors:
• Incorrect Members Address – this is pre-populated from our records so please check it’s the correct one
• Missing Opt-out forms and Ill health certificates - Form will be rejected if not added to end of Leaver form
• Missing actual pensionable pay (CARE) for Refunds – this has now been included in that section
• Pensionable Pay for both Final Salary and CARE benefits are now in one section so please make sure both figures are provided where necessary

We have also revised the leavers form help guide.

Please also remember:
• It’s a 2-stage process – upload the leaver form AND complete the ‘Notification of a Leaver’ screen
• To complete your work activities once a revised form has been uploaded

Guidance and a video to help you through the ESS Leaver process and work activities can be found here.

Draft contribution bands

The table below sets out the draft contribution bands, which will be effective from 1 April 2020. These are based on the pay bands for 2019/20, as increased by the September 2019 CPI figure of 1.7%, with the result rounded down to the nearest £100.

Please note, these are only draft rates and not yet confirmed so should not be relied on or circulated to the general public. We will notify you when the confirmation has been received and published. 


Members with an entitlement to immediate payment of Pension

Members who retire on the grounds of Ill health (at any age) or Flexible, Efficiency/Redundancy or Employers consent (age 55 and over) are entitled to immediate payment of their pension and are not allowed to defer payment to a later date.

In these cases, if a member takes their pension benefits more than 12 months and a day after their leaving date, the lump sum becomes an unauthorised payment and we will apply the relevant tax charge to their lump sum as instructed by HMRC regulations.

We do explain this to members in their retirement option letter but please could you also ensure staff who are retiring under the above grounds are aware that they are unable to defer payment of their benefits.

LGA Training Event - Understanding the Employer Role

The Local Government Association (LGA) are running some Employer Role workshops at four venues. These workshops are aimed primarily at staff working for scheme employers in England and Wales who have operational responsibilities under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Click on the link below to take you directly to the event you wish to book.

Employer role workshop dates, locations and venues:

10 March  Birmingham  Jurys Inn Hotel
17 March  London  ETC venues, Pimlico
24 March  Cardiff  Park Plaza Hotel
31 March  London  ETC venues, Pimlico
7 April  Leeds  Marriott Hotel

An overview of the course content can be found here.

TUPE’s & New Academies

If you are outsourcing services and have a number of staff who will be subject to TUPE and moving to a new employer or your school is converting to an Academy or moving MAT, please do not submit any leaver forms as this will complicate the process – instead there is a staff data capture spreadsheet you can complete on our website.

Keep us updated

Please remember to keep us updated with any changes in staff responsible for completing our forms (authorised signatories). This can be done by completing our via our online form.

You can also use this form to notify us of your IDRP Stage 1 Appeals Officer and any delegated authorised contacts.

Payment of Pension Fund Contributions

Please remember to inform us and the relevant Finance team each time you have paid your pension scheme contributions, by filling in the Monthly Contributions Form. If we receive the returns 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.

If you are a Somerset Pension Fund employer, please contact the Corporate Finance Team for a copy of the Monthly Contribution Return:

If you are a Devon Pension Fund Employer, you will need to use the online EAS5 form. If you have not already registered, a login can be obtained from the Employer and Communications Team.


Employer & Communications  Team

Quick links

Employer Services (ESS) Guide

Peninsula Pensions Employers' Pages

Peninsula Pensions  Employers' Guide

LGPS regulations and guidance

Fund Investments

LGPS National Website


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