Shropshire County Pension fund

Taking care of your Local Government Pension in Shropshire

Brief summary of employer responsibilities

These pages are for employer use only. Member information can be found on the home page.

The Administration Strategy Statement outlines the policies, responsibilities and performance standards expected towards providing a cost-effective, inclusive and high quality pensions administration service. The statement is split into employer and administering authority responsibilities and all employers are consulted before any changes are made to the document.

A full list of the Funds governance arrangements can also be found in the Governance Compliance Statement.

The Fund also has a Employer Events Policy which covers the methodology for assessment following the cessation of an employer’s participation in the Fund.

In addition to the Administration Strategy Statement and the Governance Compliance Statement, the Local Government Association (LGA) have produced HR and Payroll Guides and the Pensions Team strongly advises employers refer to these documents whilst administering the LGPS.

In order for both Scheme Employers and Shropshire County Pension Fund to minimise administrative work, as well as the need to chase missing data and prevent erroneous data from entering the system, it is vital that each employer is aware of their responsibilities.  A brief summary of employer responsibilities is covered below:

A). Main tasks – Regular

Issuing scheme guidance

All employees entering into the LGPS must be presented with a New Member Form. The New Member Form should be issued with the contract of employment and accompanied with a Brief Scheme Guide. Instructions should also be given on how to opt out if they do not wish to be a member of the scheme. See the section on, Who can join/Opting Out.

The completed form should be forwarded to Pension Services with the appropriate certificates (members birth, marriage, spouse or civil partner certificate) if available. Only original certificates can be accepted. However, the employer can photocopy the certificates and certify them as a true copy. If the certificates are not available, employees should return the form to Pension Services and they will be requested from the member at a later date.

Deducting pension contributions

Employers must (or instruct payroll providers to) deduct the correct amount of employee contributions each month and pay across these contributions (along with employer contributions) by the 19th of the following month.

Forms & Spreadsheets

Employers or their authorised nominated Payroll or HR bureau must let the Pensions Team know all necessary information required when new members start, leave or change their details. How to do this is described in greater detail in this guide and all the forms can be found in the forms library.

B). Monthly & Annual Tasks

iConnect data extraxt

The iConnect extract needs to be completed and sent at the same time as the pension contributions. We also need a separate end of year return to be completed. Please see the section on Monthly Returns and End of Year Procedure.

Information for benefit calculations

Every year Annual Benefit Statements will be issued to all scheme members. A proposed timetable will be drawn up well in advance of the date that the Statements will be produced, highlighting the information needed from employers.

In addition to the above, from time to time, information will be requested from you so that various calculations can be made. This is usually when a scheme member has requested an estimate of benefits or transfer from a previous pension provider.

List of Authorising Signatories

Periodically employers will be contacted to obtain a current list of authorising signatures. The authorising signatory form should include the name, position and a sample signature of any member of staff who has the authority to complete pension forms. If employers use Payroll or HR bureaus, written authorisation must be received from the employer before the Pensions Team can liaise with external providers.

Assistance with the distribution of communication material

Employers help may be needed on various occasions, particularly when scheme rules change. This will usually be implemented by asking employers to distribute newsletters either by paper copy or via email to members giving details of the changes.

Employers help will also be appreciated in displaying posters and distributing invitations in relation to Pension Consultations and the Annual Meeting.

Funding and Triennial Valuation

The contribution rates paid by employers in the Scheme vary every three years following the actuarial valuation of the Fund by an independent Actuary.

At each valuation member information will be requested from employers to enable the Actuary to calculate individual employer contribution rates. Employers will be told in advance what information is required. The latest valuation report along with previous reports can be found on the valuation webpage.