Key activities employers must undertake.
To do list
We provide overviews on activities that we advise you do to prepare your employees and organisation for:
We'll send email notifications to your nominated TRS / ABS lead to remind you about the key activities that you'll need to undertake.
Customising your organisation's TRS (ESR organisations)
The TRS portal has dedicated employer sections which enable you to:
- view your employee statements
- upload your branding and local benefits
- change your contact details
We provide you with instructions on how to use these functions.
This information is for those organisations that use ESR only.
Local benefits guidance (Word: 3.49MB) sets out the type of information you could include in the local benefits page of the TRS. You can adapt it to suit your needs.
Here's some tips to help you when you write your local benefits page:
- give an overview of each benefit
- highlight the advantage to employees of selecting each benefit you offer
- communicate the associated cost savings, for example: if the benefits is via Salary Sacrifice make reference to the tax and National Insurance savings
- tell employees where they can get more information about each of the benefits
- provide details for employees to be able to contact the benefits providers
Things to remember
Organisations will be required to upload local benefits and local branding to the TRS website ahead of the Total Reward Statements refresh each year.
NHS Organisations are reminded that any local branding and local benefits information entered / updated in ESR are visible in real-time.
The NHS ESR Central Team will issue an ESR User Notice to remind Organisations to upload their local benefits and local branding.
Local branding and contact details
To apply local employer branding to Total Reward Statements and to change your contact details displayed within TRS, read our TRS ESR local branding guide (PDF: 884KB), which details the activities that must be undertaken within ESR and the TRS portal.
If you have any queries about this, contact the NHS ESR Central Team by:
Pension - data cleansing activities
To maintain accurate data, we'd like you to complete some activities in a timely manner:
- ESR employers should be taking the relevant reconciliation action upon receipt of their report from NHS Pensions
- respond to data queries received from NHS Pensions
- monitor Pensions Online (POL) to ensure that any issues with e-forms, error handling or notifications are reported and resolved promptly
If the task list (PDF: 254KB) is followed, your data will be cleaner and we’ll be able to produce more statements for your employees.
This may also decrease the amount of estimates you’ll need to calculate via Pensions Online (POL) because you will be able to redirect the member to the TRS website where a pension statement is available.
There are 5 fields where the data held by NHS Pensions and the data held by ESR must reconcile to enable eligible NHS employees to log on and retrieve their TRS information.
The key data fields are:
- national Insurance number (all fields)
- date of birth
These are all included in the current format of the ESR reconciliation files.
If an employee’s pension data is not updated correctly this can potentially result in them not receiving the pension element of the statement.
ESR - data cleansing activities
We assume the data items outlined in the ESR data fact sheet will be extracted from ESR to facilitate the generation of statements for employees.
All ESR data will be extracted following the last pay period of the financial year. It’s important for employers to review the data items ahead of this date in order for correct information to be displayed on employee’s statements.
Employers are encouraged to review the data items listed in the ESR factsheet within ESR as soon as possible.
The ESR Team will also prepare reports to assist employers with the cleansing of these data items.
Information about data changes
Data status reports are available on a monthly basis.
The availability of data readiness reports will be communicated via ESR User Notice.
Some of the data items may be subject to change.
The toolkit will be amended as appropriate to accommodate changes to the ESR data items in scope for TRS.
Managing employee queries
Managers’ information packs are available to help you handle the common questions we expect employees to have about their Total Reward Statement and Annual Benefit Statement.
Make sure that you use the right version:
We have identified some areas employees may query.
These fall into 2 categories:
- queries that should be handled by your organisation
- queries that should be handled by NHS Pensions
Queries that should be handled by your organisation
For organisations that receive a TRS, you'll need someone in to manage any queries employees have relating to their employment information.
In order for you to review statements when managing queries, we'll give you access to all your employee’s statements via ESR.
Employers are reminded that all accesses to employee statements are audited and that any such access should only be done with the consent or at the request of the employee.
Statement access queries – via ESR Self Service
You'll need to nominate someone in your organisation to assist employees if they're having trouble accessing their statement via ESR Employee Self Service.
An interactive guide on how to access statements via ESR Self Service is available.
No pension element of the statement queries
Some employees may question why they have not received the pension element of their statement. The most common reasons are:
- the employee is not a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, or was not a member of the NHS Pension Scheme on the 31 March of this year. This is the point at which pension information was taken for inclusion in the statement
- it has not been possible to produce a pension statement through the automated calculation system and may need some manual intervention
If an employee wants to receive a pension estimate, they may ask you to make the necessary arrangements for one to be obtained in the usual way.
Queries that should be handled by NHS Pensions
Guidance on using Gov.uk Verify is available.
If an employee is having difficulties accessing their statement after using this tool, they should visit our contact us page.
If an employee has any queries about the pension information shown in their statement, you can either:
- visit the contact us page to refer them to the Pensions Member Helpline who'll deal with the query and only involve the relevant employer, where necessary
- ask them to use the 'submit a query' facility on the TRS statement website
Make sure the relevant contact details for each type of query are included in your local communications about the TRS.