Since April 2017, Scheme employers have directly funded NHS Pension Scheme administration through the introduction of the employer levy.
As part of the introduction of the levy we agreed to engage differently with employers by being more transparent about the service we provide, including our current performance levels and work position each month, alongside an explanation of any successes or challenges we have.
Our primary focus is to ensure that pension benefits are paid within 30 days of retirement and we carefully manage our workload to achieve this target to meet members’ service expectations. We acknowledge that due to the complexity of the membership history, in some instances, we can sometimes take longer to process some cases.
Our current performance
The table below shows our recent monthly performance for pension award processing:
|Month||Number of awards due to be paid in month (our target)||Number of awards cleared within the month (our performance)||Completion rate|
As the table shows, our service performance during recent months has fluctuated for a number of reasons. These are:
- A higher than average intake of pension applications earlier in the year.
- Increased staff training to fill vacancies and to upskill existing staff to deal with the demand and increasing complexity of members retiring from multiple sections/schemes.
- Supporting the delivery of our two current key business transformation projects as detailed below.
Our business transformation projects
Insourcing of pensioner payroll administration
Next year we will insource pensioner payroll administration from our current external provider to provide the full end to end service for customers. We believe this will lead to greater operational efficiency and better customer service for members. We have appointed 11 of our experienced administrators to work with the current provider to ensure that the service is transitioned effectively. Their absence and our requirement to backfill them has caused short term resource pressures for us.
Introduction of a work management tool
We are currently investing in a new work management system which will immediately increase the productivity of our staff once its rollout is fully completed in the autumn. Its ability to quickly match different case types against administrator availability, capacity and expertise will help us become more much efficient and productive. We are currently undertaking significant amounts of staff training during the implementation of the system.
New service process – member acknowledgements
We have introduced acknowledgements to members when we receive their applications to help manage their service expectations. As part of this, we will also be undertaking additional triaging steps on receipt of applications to reduce any potential issues or requirements for more information (and hence delays) at later processing stages.
All of these activities will create greater operational stability and resourcing as we move ahead. To keep you informed we will introduce a new section in each edition of the Employer Newsletter which will provide you with a monthly update about our service performance. We will also provide updates at our various employer forums.
We hope to deliver a continually improving service going forward and greatly appreciate your continued local administrative support in enabling us to do so.