Pensions: “How bad does it have to get?”

“The Chairman stated that having considered the report and the verbal comments made he was appalled by the state of affairs and requested that this be minuted.  He noted that this had happened before and he noted a case where it appeared that a Member of staff could not retire as there was no admission agreement was in place.  Mr Hopkins noted this and stated that this work should have been performed and taken place in 2017.    The Chairman again stated that he was appalled by this and that he would personally report this point to the Chairman of the Pension Fund Committee.”

(Source: Local pension Board 11 February 2019

“The results show a significant number of ‘critical errors’ that the administrators, Capita, will be required to address before actuarial calculations can begin.”

“Membership data needs to be fit for purpose so that the valuation can proceed. At present, the data held by Capita is not to the required standard meaning that the valuation process cannot commence.”

“As discussed in the report, having satisfactory data quality is necessary to complete the 2019 triennial valuation. Incomplete or suspect data may delay the valuation or require the Actuary to make assumptions that impact on employer contribution rates. Similarly, data issues can lead to delays or errors in benefit awards.”

(Source: Local pension Board 11 February 2019 )

Barnet UNISON comment: First we again stand solidly behind the Chair of the Pension Board. The Pension Administration service has been a prolonged catalogue of errors for the past few years. It has incurred reputational damage to the Council and has been reported twice to the Pensions Regulator.

The recent report on the quality of the data and the risk for the 2019 triennial valuation does beg the question “how badly do Capita have to perform before a service is brought back in-house?”

Our members deserve better as does the Council. In light of the litany of issues it is inexplicable that the Pension Service is only in phase four of the review of Capita services. The Pension Service needs to be brought back into Council control as a matter of urgency.

***Please note that the use of emphasis/underlining is made by Barnet UNISON.

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Pensions back in house