Certificate in Pensions Administration

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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 relevant training via pensions courses and qualifications, businesses can safeguard against the financial risk to the business.

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 their knowledge and demonstrate their understanding in several 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. By providing payroll and pension staff with relevant training, businesses can safeguard against the financial risk to the business.


The Certificate in Pensions Administration is a nine-month (level three) course.

There are seven modules, six assignments and one exam that are conducted and delivered using our online learning platform (CIPP Brightspace). The recommended study time per week is eight to ten hours.

In addition, there is one module review day and one revision session per module, these are live sessions conducted online.

The modules on this course are:

Overview of UK pension schemes

  • The different schemes available for example; 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 for example; eligible job holders, non-eligible job holders and entitled workers and any factors that need to be taken into account

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

Handling Changes in Members’ 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

Entry requirements

  • Must be over 16 years of age.

  • Proficient in Maths and English to L2 (GCSE).

  • Preferable but not essential, should be working in a pensions environment or have responsibility for the pensions function.


Delivery of the Certificate in Pensions Administration is delivered entirely online via the IPPE Online Learning Portal now including the completion of the exam for module six (Payment of Scheme Benefits to Pensioners).

Recommended study hours per week are eight to ten hours.

Benefits of online learning include:

  • Value for money - webinars are a low cost and effective learning tool
  • Can learn anywhere – our learning platform allows you access to your study material and live delivery sessions from any location (suitable internet connection required)
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds to ensure that you never miss an online learning opportunity
  • Engaging – live online delivery of timetabled sessions with a qualified tutor make the learning experience more engaging

How much does it cost?

Course cost: £1,695 +VAT and includes the following

Access to the IPPE's Online Learning Portal which provides:

  • 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

Prices valid until 30 June and reviewed annually.

Fees & timetables


  • Course Fee: £1,695 + VAT

  • Assessment resit fee: £75 + VAT

  • Course deferral fee: £150 + VAT


Key information

For more information, please contact [email protected].