DWP Pensions Stakeholder Newsletter

18 February 2014

Protected Persons

You may have seen that the Minister for Pensions laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House on Wednesday regarding the outcome of the Protected Persons consultation. The consultation invited views as to whether or not these employers should be permitted to use the statutory override to change their pension scheme rules for employees covered by the protected persons legislation. Following the consultation the Government thinks it is reasonable that issues arising from the end of contracting out for this small number of workers should be resolved through negotiation. Therefore the Government proposes that employers should not be allowed to use the statutory override to alter their pension schemes in relation to members with protected person status. Attached is a link to the Minister’s Written Ministerial Statement.


Automatic enrolment exclusions

Also on Wednesday the Government published further information about the situations where they consider an exclusion from the employer duty to automatically enrol workers into workplace pensions may be justified. There are four categories of individuals:

  • have tax protected status for existing pension savings
  • are on the brink of leaving employment
  • have given notice of imminent retirement
  • recently cancelled membership after being contract joined.

Technical Changes to Automatic Enrolment provides further details.


Scheme Reconciliation Service

As I mentioned in my last update note, we are working closely with HMRC colleagues on the implementation of Single Tier Pension. HMRC are creating the Scheme Reconciliation Service as part of the implementation. This Service allows pension scheme administrators and trustees to reconcile the membership and Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) data held on scheme records against HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) records in advance of the ending of contracting-out in April 2016.

The service provides a list of contracted out periods and GMP data for members who have left contracted-out employment. This includes early leavers, pensioners, widows, widowers and surviving civil partners. The service will be available from April 2014; however, requests for data can be made now. This link provides further details of the service.