In accordance with the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations, the Dyfed Pension Fund has prepared an Administration Strategy which compliments the efficient operation of the Fund on the behalf of its Employing Authorities and Carmarthenshire County Council (as the Administering Authority).
The objective of the Strategy is to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the Dyfed Pension Fund and the Employing Authorities in accordance with regulation 59 of the LGPS Regulations 2013.
This strategy formulates the administrative arrangements between the Dyfed Pension Fund and the participating Employing Authorities. With the introduction of this framework, the aim is to enhance the flow of data by having clear channels of communication in place, so that each authority is fully aware of its role and responsibilities within this process, as outlined by the LGPS provisions.
Procedures for liaison and communication with Employing Authorities
The employer will nominate a person to act as the Employer Representative and the Dyfed Pension Fund’s primary contact. The employer will notify the Dyfed Pension Fund who that person is and ensure that any changes are sent to Dyfed Pension Fund immediately.
The Dyfed Pension Fund employs a multi-channel approach in liaising and communicating with employing authorities to ensure that all requirements are consistently met.
The various channels of communication employed by the Fund include:
- The Dyfed Pension Fund website; which includes a specific section for each stakeholder and the Fund’s employing authorities.
- Periodic newsletters; which are issued to all active scheme members and all employing authorities. The newsletter is published via the My Pension Online service and delivered directly to each non-user’s home address, as well as being published on the Dyfed Pension Fund website.
- Induction and Pre-Retirement workshops; undertaken upon request to develop both employer and scheme member understanding.
- Pension surgeries; held for scheme members upon employer request to resolve any individual or collective issues that members may have.
- Email updates; sent directly to employer representatives to provide notification of any scheme / administrative developments.
- Employer updates seminars and training groups; held when required to review scheme developments or to resolve any training needs.
- An Annual Consultative Meeting; held to review the investment and administrative issues that the Dyfed Pension Fund has experienced during the preceding 12 months, and to look forward at the challenges that lie ahead for the next 12 months.
- Employer representatives distribute information supplied by the Dyfed Pension Fund to scheme members within their organisation i.e. scheme guides, factsheets etc.
- An annual report, issued by the Dyfed Pension Fund to illustrate the extent to which the Fund and Employing Authorities have achieved the levels of performance established under this strategy and such other matters arising from the pension administration strategy as considered appropriate.
Levels of performance for Employing Authorities
The employer must supply notifications (or approved alternatives) to Dyfed Pension Fund as follows:
- New Starters - within 1 month of the employee joining the scheme.
- Changes in Member Circumstances - within 1 month of the event.
- Early Leavers - within 1 month of the employee leaving the scheme.
- Retirement Notifications - must be received within 1 month from date last paid.
- Death in Service - within 1 week of the death of the member.
Employers will supply all new employees eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme with a copy of the employees' guide to the pension scheme within 2 months of becoming employed.
The Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 1996 require that for retirements before Normal Pension Age (NPA), the member must receive their benefits no later than two months after retirement and for retirements after Normal Pension Age (NPA), no later than one month after the date of retirement.
Employers will provide the Dyfed Pension Fund with a year-end data return as at 31 March each year in an approved format no later than 30 April of that year or the next working day.
The employer will ensure that member and employer contributions are deducted at the correct rate, including contributions due on leave of absence with reduced or no pay, maternity leave and any additional contributions the Dyfed Pension Fund request the employer to collect.
The employer is responsible for exercising the discretionary powers given to employers by the regulations. The employer is also responsible for publishing its policy in respect of the key discretions as required by the regulations to its employees and to the administering authority.
The employer will upload data to i-Connect within 5 days of the monthly period end date.
The Dyfed Pension Fund is NOT responsible for verifying the accuracy of any information provided by the employer for the purpose of calculating benefits under the provisions of the Local Government Pension Scheme and the Discretionary Payments Regulations. That responsibility rests with the employer.
Any over-payment resulting from inaccurate information supplied by the employer shall be recovered from the employer.
In the event of the Dyfed Pension Fund being levied by The Pensions Regulator, the charge will be passed on to the relevant employer where that employer's action or inaction (e.g. the failure to notify a retirement within the time limits described above), cause the levy.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, the employer will protect from improper disclosure any information about a member contained (where applicable) on any item sent from the Dyfed Pension Fund. It will also only use information supplied or made available by the Dyfed Pension Fund for the operation of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Levels of performance for the Dyfed Pension Fund
The Dyfed Pension Fund will issue forms, newsletters, booklets and such other materials as are necessary for the administration of the Scheme.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will support employers in running the Local Government Pension Scheme by:
- providing representative’s with information and assistance on the scheme and its administration;
- distributing regular technical information to the relevant representative(s).
By working co-operatively with employers, the Dyfed Pension Fund aims to:
- pay the retirement grant (lump sum) into the member’s bank account NO later than 10 days after the receipt of accurate termination data from the relevant employer (if a member does not have an in-house AVC fund).
- accept the member contribution rate calculated by the employer.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will produce benefit statements for members each year by 31st August, where the employer has submitted useable and accurate year-end financial data.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will produce pension savings statements for members each year by 5th October.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will supply any information to employers necessary to ensure the effective operation of the Pension Fund.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will work with employers to ensure that the retirement process is as efficient as possible for both the member and employer.
The Dyfed Pension Fund is responsible for exercising the discretionary powers given to it by the regulations. The Dyfed Pension Fund is also responsible for publishing its policy to its members in respect of the key discretions as required by the regulations.
The Dyfed Pension Fund aims to provide a service to members that meet the requirements of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, the Dyfed Pension Fund will protect from improper disclosure any information held about a member. Information held will be used by the Dyfed Pension Fund for the operation of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Payments by Employing Authorities to the Dyfed Pension Fund
Employing authorities will make all payments required under the Local Government Pension Scheme, and any related legislation, promptly to the Dyfed Pension Fund and/or its Additional Voluntary Contribution provider(s) as appropriate.
For employing authorities that contribute monthly, contributions can be paid over at any time, but the latest date is the 19th of the month immediately following the month in which deductions were made. For example, contributions deducted in April must be received by the Dyfed Pension Fund by 19th May at the latest. Where the 19th falls on a weekend or Bank Holiday, the due date becomes the last working day prior to the 19th.
For authorities that contribute on a quarterly basis, contributions can again be paid over at any time but the same principal applies as above, no accumulative payments should be made later than the 19th of the third month, unless it falls on a weekend of Bank Holiday, and the due date is amended to being the last working day prior to the 19th.
The employer is reported to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) where contributions are received late in accordance with the regulators code of practice.
Contributions (but not Additional Voluntary Contributions) should be paid to the Dyfed Pension Fund on a monthly/quarterly basis by cheque payable to the Carmarthenshire County Council or direct to the authority’s bank account via BACS.
The employer must submit an advice slip with their payment stating the month and the amount of the payment split between Employees’ and the Employer’s contributions.
Interest on late payments
In accordance with the LGPS Regulations, interest will be charged on any amount overdue from an employing authority by more than one month.
Interest will be calculated at 1% above base rate on a day to day basis from the due date to the date of payment and compounded with three-monthly rests.
The employer will pay additional voluntary contributions to the relevant in-house AVC Provider within one week of them being deducted.
Additional costs incurred as a result of Employing Authority's level of performance
Where additional costs have been incurred by the Dyfed Pension Fund because of the employing authority's level of performance in carrying out its functions under the LGPS, the additional costs will be recovered from that employing authority.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will give written notice to the employing authority stating:
- the reasons for the additional cost incurred;
- the reasons for the additional cost incurred;
- that the employing authority should pay the additional costs incurred by that authority's level of performance;
- the basis on which the specified amount is calculated;
- the relevant provisions of the Pension Administration Strategy under which the additional costs have arisen.
Any disagreement regarding the amount of additional cost being recovered will be decided by the Secretary of State who will have regard to:
- the provisions of the pension administration strategy that are relevant to the case;
- the extent to which the Dyfed Pension Fund and the employing authority have complied with those provisions in carrying out their functions under these Regulations.
Employer Contributions Rates and Administration Costs
Employers’ contribution rates are not fixed. Employers are required to pay whatever is necessary to ensure that the portion of the fund relating to their organisation is enough to meet its liabilities.
The Dyfed Pension Fund has an actuarial valuation undertaken every three years by the Fund’s actuary. The actuary balances the funds assets and liabilities in respect of each employer and assesses the appropriate contribution rate for each employer to be applied for the subsequent three-year period.
The costs associated with the administration of the scheme are charged directly to the Dyfed Pension Fund, and the actuary takes these costs into account in assessing the employers’ contribution rates.
If an employer wishes the Dyfed Pension Fund to carry out work not attributable to administration, they will be charged directly for the cost of that work.
This Strategy will be kept under periodic review by the Administering Authority.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will constantly seek to improve communications between itself and employing authorities.
Employers may make suggestions to improve the Pension Administration Strategy for consideration by the Dyfed Pension Fund at any time.
The Dyfed Pension Fund will revise the Pension Administration Strategy after consulting with employing authorities and any other persons considered appropriate following a material change in any policy covered in the strategy. The strategy will be published on the Dyfed Pension Fund website, and a copy will be issued to each Employing Authority and the Secretary of State.
If the strategy is to be updated following review, each Employing Authority will be notified, as will the Secretary of State, and a revised version will be published on the Dyfed Pension Fund website.
Employers are welcome to discuss any aspect of the Pension Administration Strategy with the Dyfed Pension Fund at any time. Employers are welcome to contact the Dyfed Pension Fund at any time.