Discretionary policies, and what employees can do if they are unhappy with a decision made about their benefits.
The Local Government Pension Scheme includes regulations than as an individual employer you must apply your own discretionary policy.
The regulations require a written policy confirming how you will exercise the discretions allowed under the LGPS, you must review the statement frequently and revise it as required. As well as this you must then issue this policy to the East Riding Pension Fund.
Please find the below links which will hopefully help you when either updating or creating your employer's discretion policy.
If a member is unhappy about a decision made in regard to their benefits, they should first of all contact Suzanne Firth, principal pensions officer who will try to resolve the situation, informally, and as quickly as possible. Suzanne's contact details are as follows:
Tel: (01482) 394178
If the member is stilll unhappy, they have the right to have their complaint independently reviewed under the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP) and details will be sent to the member and you as the employer will be contacted.
Please note: that if your dispute has already become the subject of proceedings in any court or tribunal, then under the Pensions Act 1995 you cannot use the IDRP to resolve your dispute.
The IDRP is a 2 stage process:
The member must firstly complete and return their Stage 1 IDRP application form to the East Riding Pension Fund documenting details their complaint, and enclosing any documentation they may feel relevant. This must be done within 6 months of the date of the notification of the decision the member wishes to make a complaint about. At this point the complaint may be directed to yourself as the employer. This will be assessed and the details of the member case will be forwarded to the relevant adjudicator whose role is to consider the members case carefully. The member will receive an acknowledgement containing details of the adjudicator and expected timescale for completion.
If on receipt of the final response from the adjudicator the member is still unhappy, the complaint can be progressed to Stage 2.
This stage requires the member to complete and return your Stage 2 IDRP application form to the East Riding Pension Fund setting out clearly why they are unhappy with the decision made by the Stage 1 adjudicator. This must be done within 6 months of their decision.
In line with other UK public sector, the Local Government Pension Schemes undergoes an actuarial valuation every three years. The last triennial valuation of the LGPS assets and liabilities was at 31 March 2019 (see below). These valuations set the employer contribution rates and will take into consideration funding.
The ERPF will ensure the most current reports for Valuation are linked via this website for your information. Download the latest valuation and funding strategy statement below:
Please find below previous reports:
To proceed with a new employer application the existing employer will need to upload the current scheme member data via the ERPF online portal.
The work process 'New Employer Valuation' will allow the member data to be uploaded securely, so that data does not need to be shared via email.
The spreadsheet to complete and upload is attached here:
The first tab provides guidance for completion and the second tab is where the member data will need to be input.
Once the spreadsheet has been fully completed the user can select 'upload member data' and the member data will instantly be sent to the Fund via this secure portal.
ERPF have made this strategy under regulation 59 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Regulations 2013. The purpose of this strategy is to set out the processes and procedures that both Scheme employers and ERPF will follow to ensure effective communication and transfer of information.
If you have any comments regarding the Pension Administration Strategy please e-mail them to Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.