Written by Craig Watford on August 3, 2021
education pensions

When a process is running smoothly and efficiently, it is easy to overlook the complexity and expertise involved in the delivery. The goal with our clients is always to take the stress away from them, so that the process appears flawless and painless whilst our experts handle the more complicated and demanding elements.

This is much the case with our Pension Team, who work hard in the background to deliver a seamless service to clients. To give an insight into our pension team and everything that they do as part of our service, we decided to go behind the scenes with our Education Pensions Team and find out about their role.

Taking the strain off our clients

At Dataplan, our Education Pensions Team take the strain off all our clients by offering a comprehensive service that takes care of every aspect of pensions, whether it be LGPS or Teachers pensions related.

Every month they complete LGPS and Teachers Pensions monthly return for many of our pension funds. These provide;

  • LGPS - Pensionable pay and employee and employer contributions.
  • TP – MDC/MCR Monthly Returns

 

Producing these reports makes pension funds aware of any new starters, leavers or any changes to a contract for all of our schools employees. They also provide for real-time analysis and more accurate reporting of payment figures each month, rather than just once a year in the form of an annual return.

Building relationships

Throughout the month, Dataplan create and build relationships with pension funds, by liaising with them regarding a whole range of issues. The team also provides them with;

  • Starter, Leaver & any contractual changes notifications. (For those not on monthly returns)
  • Personal changes to any members details e.g. names, addresses, etc.
  • Any Unauthorised & Authorised absences.
  • Service history details.
  • Maternity & Paternity reporting and adjustments.
  • Applications for Pension Estimates
  • Help with ill-health retirement calculations and queries
  • Liaise with the schemes regarding Death in Service

 

Dataplan Pensions also work closely with departments within our own organisations, such as the Innovations Team to work on solutions to problems and processes that make our services more efficient.

Managing your contractual obligations

Our Pensions Team will also manage the processing of contractual obligations under the Automatic Enrolment provisions. After your staging date they will carry out the following each month;

  • Assess and auto enrol employees each period when necessary.
  • Process members opting in and out of the pension schemes and ending contributions.
  • Produce employee status reports each period.
  • Issue Employee Communications relevant to changes in the scheme.
  • Complete the Declaration of Compliance.
  • Liaise with clients regarding selection of re-enrolment date and dealing with any necessary employee communications and re-declaration of Compliance.

 

With each month that passes through out the tax year, it will eventually culminate in the requirement of LGPS Annual Returns and TP End of Year Certificates (EOYC) needing to be produced for our clients.

They handle every stage of the production of Annual Returns & EOYC’s, creating them based on the figures that have built up through the year and analysing the figures to make sure they’re as accurate as can be, before submitting them to the relevant bodies.

Leaving the hard work to the experts

As you can see, there is a huge amount of work that goes into delivering a seamless service. That is why our clients have chosen to leave the hard work to the specialist education pension experts in our team.

Craig Watford is a specialist Education Pensions Professional at Dataplan and is responsible for handling pensions for our educations clients. Having been at Dataplan since 2016, Craig started out in the BACs team before moving over to payroll and then pensions allowing him to have a full understanding of how every element of our service works together.