Relaunch and Consultation of the Cheshire Pension Fund Administration Strategy

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The Cheshire Pension Fund has published a draft updated version of its Pension Administration Strategy. It has been updated after consultation with and taking feedback from employers on the Pensions Consultative Forum.

We are now opening a 4 week consultation period with all employers, which closes 15 March 2019.

Should you wish to pass comment or discuss the administration strategy document further, please contact pensioncomms@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Pension Administration Strategy – 2019 Consultation (PDF 542KB)

What is the Pension Administration Strategy?

The Pension Administration Strategy (“PAS”) outlines the policies and performance standards required to deliver a cost-effective and high quality pensions administration service.

The efficient administration of the Pension Fund is dependent on effective administration procedures and strong joint working between scheme employers and the Pension Fund.

This PAS sets out the expected levels of performance of the Fund and scheme employers, and provides details about the monitoring of performance levels and the action(s) that might be taken where non-compliance occurs.

It seeks to promote good working relationships and improve efficiency between the Fund and its scheme employers who are collectively responsible for delivering a service which meets the diverse and changing needs of members, as well as ensuring compliance with the regulatory standards required by the Pensions Regulator (tPR) and overseen by the Local Pensions Board.

The PAS also explains that the Fund will recover from a scheme employer any additional costs associated with the administration of the scheme incurred as a result of the poor level of performance of that scheme employer.

When will the PAS come into effect?

We will consider and respond to any responses to the consultation with a final version coming into force from 1st April 2019.

We expect employers to make best endeavours to meet their obligations under the PAS from this date.

Will employers performance against the PAS be measured and penalties or any additional costs be recharged from 1st April?

We recognise that employers and indeed the Fund may need a transitional period to develop or improve processes to meet performance targets.

The implementation date of the PAS is 1 April 2019 and a grace period of 6 months will apply to the imposition of charges or penalties. This grace period is intended to allow employers the opportunity to address the causes of any non-compliance with performance standards before any charges will be levied.

Please note that this period of grace will not cover any charges levied due to breaches of the Fund’s Contribution policy.

www.cheshirepensionfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Contributions-Policy.pdf

Consultation Feedback

Employers are welcome to provide any feedback or comments they desire. But the Fund would welcome feedback or comments to these specific questions:

  • Does the PAS clearly explain and help you understand your roles and responsibilities as an employer in the Cheshire Pension Fund? If not please comment?
  • Are there any omissions or any roles/tasks that should not be included in the PAS?
  • Are the expectations and performance targets in the PAS realistic and attainable?Please clearly indicate any that you think are unattainable.
  • Are there any known issues or barriers that will prevent you meeting the expectations in the PAS? Please indicate what these are.
  • Please comment on what level and type of support you will need from the Fund to help you to meet the  expectations in the PAS.
  • Please comment on the proposed 6 months transitional period before potentially applying charges or penalties.

Ways to respond

Email to: pensioncomms@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk by 12pm Friday 15 March 2019