The time is now

The time is now

13 May 2015

Agreeing your scheme’s contracting-out liabilities with HMRC

The cessation of contracting-out is fast approaching and pension schemes now have just a year to request Scheme Reconciliation from HMRC’s National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office (NIC&EO).

It is estimated that of the approximately 4,500 schemes affected, representing more than 20 million members with a contracted out liability, only 2,300 have registered with HMRC so far. With so many schemes to reconcile time is at a premium for HMRC, and for schemes and trustees.

Reconciliation is a voluntary exercise, but there are significant benefits to carrying it out and acting now, as the reconciliation process will enable schemes to:

  • Ensure that members’ benefits are accurate
  • Accurately record the scheme’s liabilities
  • Ensure payment or recovery of missed State Scheme Premiums (SSPs)
  • Comply with the regulator’s data quality checking requirements
  • Base any necessary future GMP equalisation exercise on accurate records

Equiniti is hosting two breakfast discussion forums, on 19 and 20 May, to enable trustees and pension managers to gain a greater understanding of the key factors in considering or undertaking a reconciliation of contracted-out liabilities. We will be exploring view points from a number of key players and helping schemes to steer the smoothest course to December 2018.

Questions to be covered in detail will include a consideration of how to control project costs and where to spend money to save money, a look at decisions on tolerance – how close is close enough? How many trustees are aware that the Pension Regulator’s tolerance is as low as £2, for example? We’ll also be looking at how to make best use of the time remaining and a consideration of communications including who the schemes should be communicating with, and what/when they need to communicate with their members.

Speakers include representatives from HMRC, as well as pension administration, legal and actuarial professionals. Equiniti’s own dedicated GMP reconciliation team will be on hand to answer questions and provide key insights to their own experience of having conducted this in-depth exercise for a number of Equiniti’s clients. Full details of the event can be found here.

If you, or a colleague, would like to attend please confirm your interest to, stating your preferred date. Please note places are strictly limited to allow fuller discussion, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

E-Zine issue: May 2015
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