Buckinghamshire Pension Fund identifies ‘discrepancies’ with contribution data

The Buckinghamshire Pension Fund (BPF) has identified “discrepancies” in its data on outstanding employer and employee contributions.

According to the council pension fund’s Record of Breaches – 2019/20 report, there is a total of £561,663 owed in outstanding contributions for between 2018/19 and 2020/21.

By 19 May 2020, the BPF had still not received £253,510 in contributions from 2018/19, £308,060 from 2019/20 and £86,980 from 2020/21, according to the report.

The report described the discrepancies as an ‘amber breach’ and a review of the contribution receipting procedure would be completed by 31 March 2021.

“It’s come to light quite late in the day that there are some discrepancies with the data provided in this report,” said Buckinghamshire Council pensions administration manager, Claire Lewis-Smith.

“The proposal is that we will take this away and look at it and come back to the Pension Fund Committee in November with a revised log with exact details regarding contributions that are outstanding to the fund.”

The report stated that the breach had not been reported as the extent of any issues will not be known until the review of contribution receipting had been completed.

It also identified that only 78.9 per cent of 2020/21 annual benefit statements had been issued by the statutory deadline, due to a poor-quality annual return submission by a large scheme employer.

“For administration on the annual benefits statement deadline, we achieved a 78.9 per cent issue of active member statements this year, which is lower than what we achieved in 2019/20,” stated Lewis-Smith.

“The main reason for this was one of our large scheme employers submitted an annual return which did not have accurate data.

“This had to be returned to them for revision and when we received the revised return it was late in August, which did not give us enough time to produce annual benefit statements for that particular employer.

“If you exclude that employer, we actually issued 97.42 per cent of our annual benefit statements for the rest of the fund.”

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