Latest news

LGPS – Employer Data Retention Policy

So that the Fund can fulfil its legal obligations in relation to data (as well as paying the correct benefits to current and former employees of each individual Employer, and their beneficiaries), individual Employers are required to adopt certain minimum data retention periods.

To assist Employers, we have been working nationally, with other LGPS Funds and legal advisors Squire Patton Boggs, to produce a template Personal Data Retention Policy for Employers.

The template for the Personal Data Retention Policy sets out the Fund’s expectation of Employers in relation to the retention of personal data that is required by the Fund. The template will need to be tailored by Employers before incorporation into their existing Personal Data Retention Policy.

More detailed information about the Employer’s Data Retention requirements can be found in the template of the Employer Data Retention Policy, copies of which can be accessed using the links below.

 Employer Data Retention Policy template pdf version (244KB)

Word Document Employer Data Retention Policy template Word version (41KB)

 

Employer Training Event – 25 June 2019

The presentations from our Training Event can be found below for your reference:

 The Pensions Regulator (TPR) (1.9MB)

 Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP) (764KB)

 I-connect Implementation (490 KB)

 I-connect Presentation (2.6MB)

 Retirement Journey (668KB)

 Employer Roles and Responsibilities (829KB)

 

Volunteer Role on the Independent Remuneration Panel for Staffordshire County Council

Would you like the opportunity to have an input into decisions on the level and types of payments made to Staffordshire County Councillors?

If so please follow the link below for the advert?

https://www.wmjobs.co.uk/job/57686/volunteer-panel-members/

 

LGPS: Valuation Consultation

On 8 May 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a consultation on changes to the actuarial valuation cycle and the management of Employer risk for LGPS Funds in England and Wales. The consultation closes on 31 July 2019.

The five key proposals covered by the consultation are:

  • Transitioning local Fund actuarial valuations from 3 yearly to 4 yearly, so that the national LGPS cost management valuation and local LGPS valuations are aligned from 31March 2024 onwards
  • Giving Funds the power to carry out ‘interim’ whole Fund valuations between the formal valuation dates in exceptional circumstances, and subject to Secretary of State Approval
  • To adjust individual Employer contribution rates upwards or downwards between Fund valuations, subject to published trigger events within the Fund's Funding Strategy Statement (FSS)
  • Allowing Funds more flexibility around the way in which they manage Employers that exit the LGPS, by spreading cessation debt repayments or setting up private sector style ‘deferred debt’ arrangements to ease Employer concerns over affordability
  • Amending LGPS Regulations to allow exit credits to be reduced to nil where a pass-through arrangement is in place
  • Removing the requirement for further education, higher education and sixth form college corporations in England to offer new employees access to the LGPS

A link to the consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/local-government-pension-scheme-changes-to-the-local-valuation-cycle-and-management-of-employer-risk

The Consultation closes on 31 July 2019

 

Government Consultation – restricting exit payments in the public sector

Consultation period 10 April 2019 closes on 3 July 2019

You will recall from a previous Fund communication that the Government planned to introduce a £95,000 (£95k) cap to exit payments for public sector bodies. The original Government proposals were issued in summer 2015, however on 10 April this year the Government announced a final consultation which closes on 3 July 2019

Who does this affect?

This affects most public-sector employers and in the Local Government Pension Scheme has particular relevance for councils (whether Metropolitan, County, District Borough or Parish) Police and Fire Authorities as well as Academies

What is the Exit payment cap?

The cap limits the exit payments made to employees of public sector bodies. The proposed cap of £95K would cover the total value of exit payments (before tax) made by an employer and will include the "strain" cost due to the Pension Fund for early payment of pension as well as redundancy payments, plus any other compensation or severance payments (e.g. pay in lieu of notice, etc.).

Benefits relating to Ill Health Retirement are not affected by the cap

We have attached a link to the Governments’ Consultation, which sets out in detail how the proposed changes will be implemented and the impact they may have on public sector bodies and their employees

Government Consultation

Employers should assess the impact the proposed changes will have on their organisation and consider submitting a written response to the Consultation by 3 July 2019.

The Staffordshire Pension Fund are assessing the impact the Consultation  will have on the LGPS and will issue our own response by 3 July 2019

Further information can also be found below:

LGPC Briefing

Draft Regulations

Guidance on the regulations

LGA Exit Cap Summary

 

Pension Administration Strategy – Consultation period closes on 21 May 2019

Background

We have recently reviewed and updated the Administration Strategy, which is now open for consultation with our Employers.

The aim of this strategy is to detail requirements for liaison and communication between Employers and the Staffordshire Pension Fund thus ensuring regulatory compliance is achieved and best value service standards are delivered to scheme members and other parties to meet their statutory obligations.

The strategy also seeks to promote good working relationships, improve efficiency and ensure agreed standards of quality in delivery of the pension administration service amongst the Employers and the Fund.

Please click on the link to access the draft Administration Strategy.

 DRAFT - Staffordshire Pension Fund Administration Strategy V.2 (1.1MB)

The strategy is developed in consultation with Employers in the Fund, we would therefore encourage Employers to review the strategy and feedback any comments and views by the consultation closing date of 21 May 2019.

Please send your feedback/comments to Martin Griffiths at the following email address martin.griffiths@staffordshire.gov.uk

 

Local pension board elections – April 2019

The term of office of the current members of the local pensions board is due to come to an end in the Autumn of 2019. 

The fund is therefore looking for expressions of interest from both employers and individual scheme members who might be interested in standing for election to the local pensions board, as a representative. We are particularly looking for a representative from one of our larger employers or an academy / education establishment and another representative who is an active or deferred member of the Staffordshire Pension Fund.

The role of the local pensions board is to assist the scheme manager (the county council) to secure compliance with the LGPS (Local Government Pension Service) regulations and help to ensure the effective and efficient governance and administration of the LGPS, for the Staffordshire pension fund and its members.

The local pensions board meets quarterly, and all meetings are open to the public. The agendas and minutes of the meetings are published by Staffordshire County Council on its website. 

If you are interested in putting yourself or your organisation forward or perhaps you have a colleague who might be just what the local pension Board is looking for, then please email our communication officer Martin Griffiths.

All nominations must be received by 31 May 2019. This will enable any selection process, which will be informal, to be undertaken prior to the 4-year term of office commencing in the Autumn of 2019. 

 

Employer training day – June 2019

Please note this event is now full, an additional session covering elements of the training day will be organised in due course. Please check the website for further details.

Our next Employer Training Day will be held on Tuesday 25 June. Please put this date in your diary. It will be a valuable training event for any payroll and HR staff that deal with pension issues.

Each employer will be able to send up to 5 representatives. If the numbers get tight we may, however, ask employers to reduce the number of staff they are sending. Further details will be provided shortly, including how you can book places for this event.