The Dyfed Pension Fund strives to provide a high quality and consistent service to our customers in the most efficient and effective manner possible in an ever changing pensions environment.
The Fund aims to use the most appropriate communication medium for the audiences receiving the information, which may involve using more than one method of communication.
It ensures that all regulatory requirements concerning the provision of Scheme information is continuously met and assessed.
There are 5 distinct groups with whom the Fund needs to communicate.
The Fund has established an extensive website which sets outs Scheme provisions in a simple and concise manner. Information updates and news items are quickly added to notify members of any Scheme developments. Electronic copies of Fund literature, policies and reports are also readily available to download.
My Pension Online
An integrated web portal via the Dyfed Pension Fund website, which allows members to view and update their pension details securely online. Members are able to perform accurate benefit calculations, update their death grant expression of wish and contact details, as well as view their annual benefit statement.
Annual Report and Accounts
An electronic copy of the Fund’s Annual Report and Accounts is available to all Scheme members via the My Pension Online service and the website. Hard copies are also available upon request.
The Fund issues an annual newsletter to all active members, covering current pension topics within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and the pensions industry in general. The newsletter is also issued to all pensioners, providing notification on pension matters and other matters of interest. Specific single topic newsletters are also published and distributed to members on an ad hoc basis.
Annual Benefit Statements
Statements are uploaded automatically to a member’s My Pension Online account, or sent directly to their home address if they have chosen not to register and have a hard copy request. The active statement sets out the current value of benefits (as at 31st March), a projection to Normal Pension Age, the current value of death benefits. The deferred statement on the other hand shows the up rated value of benefits. Supplementary notes of guidance are provided with each statement.
Bilingual Scheme Literature
An extensive range of Scheme literature is produced by the Dyfed Pension Fund and is supplied to employing bodies and Scheme members directly. This Scheme literature forms part of the data held on the Fund’s website.
In compliance with Scheme Regulations, members are notified when any change occurs to their pension record, thereby affecting their pension benefits.
Frequently held to raise member awareness and understanding towards general Scheme provisions.
General Presentations & Courses
The Fund can deliver standard or tailored presentations on a wide range of LGPS related subjects.
Pension surgeries are available for groups of Scheme members by request, or for individual members on a surgery basis. Meetings are held at employer venues or alternatively members are able to make an individual appointment with the dedicated Communication & Training Officer.
The Fund’s dedicated Communication & Training Officer is available to attend pre-retirement courses to inform members who are near retirement about their entitlement and Local Government procedures.
The Fund utilises both surface mail and e-mail to receive and send correspondence. Response will be made in the individuals preferred language of choice. The My Pension Online service also acts as another electronic medium.
Payment Advice / P60
Pensioners are issued with payment advice slips every April and thereafter when a variance of £5 or more occurs, unless they have chosen to utilise the My Pension Online service. P60 notifications are also issued annually in May, providing a breakdown of the annual amounts paid.
Pension Increase Statements
An annual statement is issued to all pensioners pending any increase in the appropriate cost of living index. These are issued electronically to those that have registered to the My Pension Online service.
Existence Validation (Life Certificate Exercise)
The Fund undertakes an annual exercise to establish the continued existence of pensioners in receipt of monthly pension payments via cheque.
Prospective Scheme Members
All prospective Scheme members are provided with a Scheme booklet upon appointment.
Corporate Induction Courses
The dedicated Communication & Training Officer will attend any employer corporate induction events in order to present to prospective Scheme members the benefits of joining the Scheme. A one-on-one pensions surgery session will also be offered to resolve any individual queries.
Non Joiner Campaigns
The Fund will request formal notification of non-joiners from Scheme employers. The information will be used to market the Scheme to specific groups, with dedicated literature and campaigns being formulated in conjunction with Scheme employers from time to time.
As well as being a valuable aid for pensioners and current scheme members, road shows are used to target specific non-members. This ensures that members receive the information required to make an informed choice towards their pension provision.
The Fund’s website contains a specific section for non-joiners. It highlights the benefits of planning for retirement and what’s provided by the Scheme so again an informed choice can be made.
The Fund will endeavour to work with the relevant Trade Unions to ensure the Scheme is understood by all interested parties. Training days for branch officers will be provided upon request, and efforts will be made to ensure that all pension related issues are communicated effectively with the Trade Unions.
Annual Consultative Meeting (ACM)
A meeting is held annually for all Scheme employers, at which detailed investment, financial and administrative reports are presented by Officers and Fund Managers. Other speakers may also be invited to discuss certain issues connected to the Pensions Industry.
Periodically meetings are arranged for employers. Specifically this has been used as a means of communicating major strategic issues, significant legislation changes and end of year / triennial valuation matters.
Regulatory and administrative updates are frequently issued to all employers via email.
Bespoke sessions can be delivered by the dedicated Communication & Training Officer to resolve any administrative training issues identified by the employer, or the Fund. These sessions are held at employer venues or virtually, with developments being monitored and reviewed periodically thereafter.
The Fund website has a dedicated Employer section that provides all employers with the guidance needed to effectively discharge their administrative responsibilities. Various publications are also available to download.
Access to Pensions Administration System
Each employer has the opportunity to access the pension records of their current members, providing the facility to provide pension benefit estimates directly to members.
Published in compliance with Scheme Regulations, the Administration Strategy defines the responsibilities of both the Fund and all Scheme employers in the administration of the Scheme. The strategy clearly sets out the level of performance expected from the Dyfed Pension Fund and all employers, as well as the consequence of not meeting statutory deadlines.
All new members of staff undergo an induction program and are issued with an induction schedule. A periodic appraisal programme is also exercised to review and monitor employee performance and development.
Departmental and Section meetings are held on a regular basis. Items arising from such meetings are escalated through to Senior Managers and Chief Officers. Any relevant matters are cascaded to all staff.
Training & Support
The Fund seeks to continually improve the capacity of staff to communicate effectively and to understand the importance of high-quality communication. Both general and pensions specific training is provided by the dedicated Communications & Training Officer and by the Local Government Pensions Committee (LGPC) as part of the Fund’s commitment to continual
improvement. Staff are also encouraged to undertake relevant professional qualifications (as provided by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)).
Fund Officers regularly attend seminars and conferences held by associated bodies to obtain regulatory information and to further their knowledge and understanding. This information is later cascaded to all staff so that service delivery is improved.
Other Pension Funds
The Fund works continuously to engage with other Pension Funds in Wales to evaluate specific partnership arrangements. The Fund is currently the lead authority within the All Wales Pension Funds Communication Working Group and also forms part of the Welsh Pension Funds Pensions Officer Group and Wales Pension Partnership.
Details of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) are brought to the attention of their members by local representatives. They also assist in
negotiations under TUPE transfers in order to ensure, whenever possible, continued access to the Scheme.
National Information Forum
These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss issues of common interest and share best practice. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Local Government Pensions Committee (LGPC) are represented at each meeting.
Fund Officers regularly participate at seminars and conferences held by LGPS related bodies.
Whilst this policy outlines the communication approaches adopted by the Dyfed Pension Fund, there are roles and responsibilities which fall on Scheme members, prospective Scheme members and participating Scheme employers in ensuring that information necessary to maintain an accurate membership base is provided in a timely manner.
If there is any material change in the Dyfed Pension Fund’s communications strategy, this policy will be revised, but will be reviewed no less frequently than on an annual basis.