Common issues with data supplied for previous year end returns

We have experienced certain common issues with data supplied from some employers.


Issues relating to the CONTPOSTMASTER return

The Actual Remuneration Amount field (column O)

This should be the pay received in the year i.e. not grossed up but include Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP).

As you should be aware employers must record a notional APP for members on reduced contractual pay or nil pay due to sickness or injury or paid child related leave (including ordinary maternity, paternity, or adoption leave) for each job i.e. the full contractual (notional pay) pay they would have earned had they not been on reduced or nil pay.

Please see LGA Payroll Guide section 4.2

The Pens Rem Amount field (column Q)

This should be whole time equivalent pay (2008 LGPS definition) excluding allowances or overtime which are of a temporary nature.

Please see the LGA payroll guide section 6.1

In year leaver data

The return should include 'in year' leaver data showing relevant 'Date of Leaving' if applicable.


Issues relating to the CARE 2024 return

The 'From Date' should be:

  • the first day of the financial year - 01/04/23 (if the member was employed at this date) 
  • the date at which the member joined the Fund or employment if later

The 'To Date' should be:

  • the last day of the financial year - 31/03/24 (if the member was employed at this point)
  • the date at which the member left the scheme or employment if earlier


Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)

These are deductions from the member's pay that are paid to linked providers Standard Life and Scottish Widows.

The individual amount of the member's AVC, paid in the financial year, needs to be identified in column T 'in house AVCs paid' on the Contpostmaster.xls spreadsheet.

We have noticed that some employers have not been providing this information, which is required in order to complete HMRC 'annual allowance' checks accurately. Please ensure any relevant AVC information is included in your 2024 year end return.

AVCs should continue to be paid directly to the appropriate provider and not included with total LGPS contributions as defined in columns V,X, AA and AD in Contpostmaster.xls.


Submission of data deadline

A significant number of employers have previously missed the submission of data deadline.

Due to the new Pensions Regulator (TPR) requirements, the Fund is obliged to issue key information to members (including annual benefit statements) within much shorter deadlines. If we are unable to achieve this due to the late submission of employer data, we are now obliged to report this breach to the TPR.


Response to data enquiries from Staffordshire Pension Fund

On some occasions when data enquiries were sent to scheme employers post return submission we experienced some very late response times, which again meant we were unable to finalise employer year end data and comply with TPR requirements.

This year it will be essential that all data enquiries to employers are responded to within 10 workings days.