Certificate in Pensions Administration

Today’s UK pension legislation is complex and this certificate sets out to ensure that your teams have a broad understanding of the UK’s pension schemes, including automatic enrolment.

Errors in pensions administration can be extremely costly, with fines for non-compliance in relation to automatic enrolment being as much as £10,000 a day. By providing payroll and pension staff with the relevant training, businesses can ultimately save themselves a lot of money.

The Certificate in Pensions Administration has been developed with pension practitioners to ensure that it meets the needs of the industry. It provides a clear opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and application of job roles in the pension industry.

Who is this certificate aimed at?

This certificate is aimed at both the public and the private sector and is an excellent entry level qualification for members of the pensions, payroll and human resources teams that have day to day interactions with the pension scheme and scheme provider.

Why should I invest in this certificate?

With continuing legislative changes in the pensions industry, such as the introduction of automatic enrolment, errors in your pension administration can be extremely costly, carrying non-compliance fines as much as £10,000 per day.

This certificate provides an ideal opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and application of the job roles within the pensions industry, which help to prevent fines being received for non-compliance.


The Certificate in Pensions Administration is a nine month level 3 course.

There are 6 assignments and 1 exam completely delivered using our online learning platform. The recommended study time per week is 8-10 hours. There is one module review day and one revision session per module, these are live sessions conducted online.

This certificate is split into seven modules:

Overview of UK pension schemes

  • The different schemes available; e.g. occupational pensions schemes, defined benefit schemes, defined contribution schemes
  • The role of HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions and The Pensions Regulator
  • Annual reporting requirements

Providing pension scheme information

  • Criteria for membership
  • Providing information to members where their changing circumstances can impact on their potential pension benefits/rights; e.g. eligible job holders, non-eligible job holders and entitled workers and the factors which may change which of these an individual belongs to

Creating and maintaining pension scheme member records

  • Understanding the scheme rules and organisational procedures
  • Completing the new member process within the required dates; the impact of the dates on opting out of the scheme and when to use
  • Postponement for automatic enrolment
  • Investigating and resolving discrepancies

Transferring into and out of pension schemes

  • Understand the regulations and requirements relating to transfers
  • Data verification
  • Calculating and communicating transfers

Amend pension records to reflect a member’s change of circumstances

  • Leaving the scheme before retirement
  • Understand when pensions benefits may become payable other than for retirement
  • Interpret the scheme and regulatory rules to determine the type of benefit payable in the event of a member’s death:
    • In service
    • While receiving pension payments
    • After a divorce
  • Calculating and communicating pensions benefits

Payment of scheme benefits to pensioners

  • Understand the scheme and regulatory rules relating to the calculations and processes involved in processing a pensioner payroll
  • Determining continued payment of pensions benefits

Working as a member of the pensions team

  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills and expectations

*Please note that all assignments and exam are completed online through CIPP's online learning platform.


Delivery of the Certificate in Pensions Administration is delivered entirely online via the CIPP’s student web site now including the completion of the exam for module six (Payment of Scheme Benefits to Pensioners).

Recommended study hours per week are 8-10 hours.

Benefits of online learning include:

  • Value for money - webinars are a low cost and effective learning too

  • Can learn anytime, anywhere - as well as the interactive webinars, delegates can download the recorded webcast after the event so they can refer back at a time, date and location to suit them

  • Subscribe to RSS feeds to ensure that you never miss an online learning opportunity

How much does it cost?

How much does it cost?

Course cost: £1,295+VAT

Please note that Certificate in Pensions Administration is delivered online only.

What do my fees include?

Access to the CIPP’s student website which provides:

  • Discussion forums so that students can support each other through online networking and where tutors can respond to any questions that students may have
    • All study material, induction and module review day slides, plus any additional information that may assist you in your studies
    • Allocation of a tutor to provide you with support
    • Exam and assignment fees: please note that there will be additional cost for deferrals and re-sits if required
  • Trial student membership of the CIPP for the duration of your studies, providing you with access to:


Once successfully completed you may choose to progress to the Foundation Degree in Pensions Administration and Management.

For more information about the Certificate in Pensions Administration, please email us or phone 0121 712 1023.

Frequently asked questions

How much time will I need to invest each week?

Recommended study time is seven hours per week.

When does this qualification start?

There are two intakes, spring and autumn.

How long does this qualification take to complete?

This is a nine month course.

How much does this qualification cost?

£1,295+VAT, which includes student membership of the CIPP for the duration of your studies. Please contact education@cipp.org.uk for multiple booking discounts.


Enrol now

Download the enrolment form below and return to education@cipp.org.uk.

Download enrolment form