NOW: Pensions Annual Benefit Statement 2019. Employer FAQs
Over the coming weeks, we will begin sending out the annual pension statement for NOW: Pension members for the 2018/2019 Scheme year. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Benefit Statement.
Who receives a Benefit Statement?
Benefit Statements relate to the last Scheme Year. The NOW: Pensions Scheme Year runs from 1st April to 31st March. The requirement is for Benefit Statements to be sent within 12 months from the last Scheme Year.
If an employee were paying contributions into the NOW: Pensions scheme between 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2019 or have paid contributions into the scheme prior to this date but are no longer paying contributions (a deferred member) they will receive a Benefit Statement. If they joined the scheme after 31st March 2019, they won’t receive a Benefit Statement for the Scheme Year ending 31st March 2019, they will receive a Benefit Statement for the Scheme Year ending 31st March 2020. Employees can view their fund value at any time by logging onto their member account.
Members who have been disinvested will not be included, due to benefits being fully extinguished.
Members who have left the Scheme (which include those with zero fund value) will not receive a Statement.
Why are members receiving this now?
Pension regulation states annual Benefit Statements must be produced within 12 months of the scheme year end, which is 31st March.
An employee is a member; however, this is their first Benefit Statement. Can they have a previous Statement?
The Statement replaces previous versions and has more up to date information than previous statements. We can provide further information about an employee’s pension savings, if they need it.
The Benefit Statement does not show all contributions paid since joining – why?
- Only contributions up until 31st March 2019 are shown.
- We are aware that there have been historic issues with up to date information presenting on our systems.
- In some instances, there have been adjustments which may have affected a member’s total fund value – these are detailed on the Benefit Statement.
- If a member’s contributions are paid to us via the Salary Sacrifice scheme, contributions are paid in lieu of salary, and therefore will be included with the money added by the employer only.
- An employee might have two member records in which case they will receive a further Benefit Statement.
Why have members received more than one Benefit Statement?
There could be several reasons for this although many records have now been consolidated:
- Members might have left the Scheme and then re-joined at a later date
- Members have changed payroll frequency, e.g. weekly to monthly
- If a member received multiple Statements for the same Scheme Year, they do not supersede each other; they are for separate records and the values will need to be added together to give the total fund value. Members should check their reference number to identify if statements are for different accounts
- Members worked for more than one company using NOW: Pensions as a pension provider.
Some members have received a Benefit Statement and others haven’t, why?
There could be several reasons why a Benefit Statement was not produced even though the member met the criteria set out above:
- If the balance of a member’s account at 31st March 2019 was zero, i.e. no contributions have been received from you, as the employer, for the service period up to and including 31st March 2019
- We do not hold their complete address or email address. Statements have not been issued where significant parts of a home address are missing
- Members opted out of the Scheme
- Members have received a refund, transferred out or taken all their pension savings
- Members will receive their Benefit Statement via an online portal. Depending on our records, they may be notified that your Statement is ready to view or download either by email or post – if we have a valid email address.
How often will members get a Benefit Statement?
Benefit Statements are issued annually, within 12 months of the end of the scheme year (31st March).
Members have only been in the Scheme from January 2019 – March 2019, will they get a Benefit Statement?
Yes. If a member joined during the last 12 months, then their contributions have been pro-rated to a 12-month equivalent.