Pensions Line - January 2021

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January 2021

Help us, help our retiring scheme members

In the September Edition we asked for you to provide members with a link to our retirement processes which explained the steps we need to follow and the Disclosure Regulation timeframes we need to abide by. Namely that we must contact members with their options within 1 month following date benefits becomes payable (2 months if retiring before normal pension age). Of course we will contact members as soon as possible.

We have some employers who are chasing retirement cases well within the disclosure timeframes, we would ask instead that you refer scheme members to the retirement processes. This will enable the member services team to concentrate their time on processing retirements rather than responding to chasers, which in turn will benefit all retirees.

Of course we do recognise that there are some cases that need to take priority eg those members with a short life expectancy or facing severe financial hardship and we would welcome you alerting us to such cases.   

Exit Cap Procedure and Judicial Review Update

The LGA have updated their Exit Cap Regulation guidance for LGPS employers whilst we wait for the LGPS Regulations to be changed.  

We have added the Exit Cap policy agreed by both the Devon and Somerset Pension Funds to our website please take time to familiarise yourself with the policy. 

In particular you will note that there are extra steps in the redundancy/efficiency retirement process for Employers subject to the Exit Cap regulationswhich includes confirming whether or not the Cap has been breached once Peninsula Pensions has provided the strain cost. This decision cannot be delegated to a payroll provider.        

To ensure correct benefit options are sent to the scheme member we will require the employer steps to be completed before we contact them. We would therefore ask you to provide members with the link to our retirement process page and the LGA’s employee Exit Cap FAQs. 

The LGA have also informed us that on 22 December 2020, three requests for Judicial Reviews of the Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payment Regulations 2020 were given permission to proceed. These requests contest the regulations on a number of grounds, including their effect on the LGPS regulations. We expect the requests to be heard towards the end of March 2021. MHCLG has confirmed that these hearings will affect the timing of LGPS regulation changes. 

The LGA understand that these proceedings will prevent any direction by the Pensions Ombudsman on this matter until they are complete. LGA have asked for confirmation and will  update us accordingly.   

Scheme members will still be able to bring claims against employers and administering authorities relating the exit payment cap. Complaints must go through IDRP stages 1 and 2 before the member can refer the case to the Pensions Ombudsman. The adjudicator and administering authority are able to determine that they cannot make a decision at stage 1 and 2 respectively, due to the conflict between the exit payment cap regulations and the LGPS regulations. It is important to note that even if this approach is adopted, both stages 1 and 2 of IDRP must be complete before the complaint can be referred to the Pensions Ombudsman. 

Employer Pensions Discretions Policy

Just to remind you, there has been some slight changes to what is required in your pensions discretions policy. If you haven’t already, please review your current discretions policy against the current guidance on our website and send your updated discretions policies to the Employer & Communications team.

Devon Pension Fund Monthly Contributions EAS5 Form

Back in November’s edition, we told you that you no longer need to log in to access the EAS5 form with the launch of the new website. We understand that some of you may have bookmarked an old link and are having problems with access so here’s the direct link to the EAS5 form.

We also asked you to confirm who completes the EAS5 Monthly Contributions form for your authority so if you haven’t already done so, please complete this form

Monthly Interfaces

Just to remind you that you can use our online contact form to can confirm who completes and submits your monthly interfaces - just select ‘Keep us updated’ from the Employers drop-down menu and select ‘Confirm contact for interfaces’.

Employer PLOG

This year’s PLOG has been delayed whilst we await guidance and revised LGPS regulations following the introduction of the £95k exit cap on 4th November 2020. It is now planned for March. Due to the pandemic, we will run the session remotely and it will be recorded so if you are not able to attend, you can view it later. More details will be confirmed in next month’s edition.

Remote working

Employer Self Services (ESS) Work Activities

If a leaver form has been rejected and a work activity has been assigned to you, please remember to complete the work activity. Once you have uploaded a revised leaver form to the members record, go back into the relevant work activity, select New Entry, confirm a new form has been uploaded and press Save – this will update the work activity to ‘In Progress’. You will need to go back in and press ‘Save’ again to complete the activity. For help with work activities, please see the guidance 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 any authorised delegated contacts, your IDRP Stage 1 Appeals Officer, your Payroll Provider, your contact for Interfaces and to sign up to our employer newsletter Pensions Line

Change of Payroll Provider & Provision of Data

It is important that you contact the Employer & Communications Team if you are changing your payroll provider. We can then work with you to ensure you put processes in place to retain access to historical payroll information and continue to fulfil your responsibilities as a Scheme employer.

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

TUPEs & 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.


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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