Aims of the service
Our aims are to:
- provide a high quality, cost effective service that we will continuously try to improve
- treat everyone equally and courteously
- communicate effectively, using easy to understand language where possible
- be accessible, fair and helpful
- learn from your comments
This page shows you the level of service we aim to provide under normal circumstances, for key areas. The target times shown will be reviewed on a regular basis. We will monitor the quality of our service and publish the results on our website.
The targets stated are working days and we aim to achieve these targets in at least 90% of cases. In all cases where a payment is due, please allow a further 3 working days for the bankers' automated clearing services (BACS) transaction.
We will issue a welcome pack providing information about the LGPS showing the information we hold within 2 months (40 days) of joining the scheme.
Transfers in from previous pension schemes
We will write to your previous pension scheme requesting details within 20 working days of receiving your request or, if later, receipt of your employment details.
We will issue details of the estimated benefits 'bought' by the transfer value within 10 working days of receiving sufficient information from your former scheme and HM Revenue and Customs.
We will confirm the actual additional benefits credited to you within 30 working days of receiving the payment from your previous scheme.
If you are eligible, we will process payment of the refund due within 10 working days of receiving your completed option form.
The option form must be signed and received by Pension Services no earlier than 1 month and 1 day after you have left your employment or opted out of the LGPS.
Transferring out to another pension scheme
We will issue a quotation of a transfer value within 10 working days of receipt of your authorised request provided that all of the necessary information is available. We will issue up to 1 free quotation within any 12 month period.
We will pay the transfer value within 20 days of receiving confirmation from you that the transfer is to proceed.
Please note: this target can only be met if we have all of the information we require to make the payment, and Pension Services are satisfied that the new provider meets the requirements under the regulations which govern the payment of transfer values to alternative pension arrangements.
This standard does not apply to transfers to overseas arrangements or cases involving a pension sharing order following a divorce settlement.
Estimates of benefits
We will issue a quotation within 15 working days of receiving the relevant details from your employer.
Within 15 working days of all the relevant information being provided to Pension Services, we will aim to send a retirement pack to you which will contain an estimate of your pension benefits together with a number of forms which must be completed before we can finalise your benefit entitlement.
On receipt of your completed documentation, we aim to make payment of any retirement grant within 18 working days, which includes the bankers' automated clearing services (BACS) transaction. Your pension, together with any arrears, will be paid in the next payroll run after your information has been received.
We will send a 'form of application' within 5 working days of being notified of the death of the member.
We will send details of the benefits payable to the member’s next of kin within 10 working days of receiving all of the relevant documents.
We will pay any lump sum death grant due within 10 working days of receiving the Grant of Probate, or other appropriate documentation.
Please note: if there is any doubt as to who the beneficiary should be, this performance standard will not apply.
We will send a newsletter to members at least once a year.
We welcome and value your comments on the standard of service we provide. If you have any comments you wish to make, please contact us.
How can I help you give me good service?
You can help us by:
- fully and accurately completing any forms we send to you
- giving us your National Insurance number and full name when you write to us
- where possible providing us with a day time contact telephone number or e-mail address
While we always try to do things accurately and on time we recognise that things can, and do sometimes go wrong. In that event there are several things you can do.
In the first instance please contact Pension Services and every effort will be made to clarify any misunderstanding and put right any error. Failing that, you can make a formal written complaint to Pension Services to the address on our contact page.
If you make a formal complaint we will:
- acknowledge or reply to your complaint in writing within 5 working days of its receipt
- within a further 10 days endeavour to give you a full explanation of our findings, and, if necessary, what action we propose to take to resolve any outstanding issues
Internal dispute resolution procedure
Finally, the internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) allows you the right to have your complaint independently reviewed. A set of notes about the IDRP process together with a form to set out the nature of your complaint can be sent to you upon request.