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Single Scheme Administration Project
The Single Public Service Pension Scheme was introduced on 1 January 2013 and applies to over 350 Public Service employers.
At the time of introducing the Scheme, it was recognised that the career-averaging nature of this Scheme differs from earlier Public Service Schemes because this Scheme requires the calculation of member benefits to be calculated annually rather than just at the time of retirement. As such, a very different type of administrative framework is needed. Recognising this, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is progressing work, in collaboration with public service employers, to examine the administrative arrangements that will best suit the Single Scheme in the long-term.
A small Single Scheme Administration Project (SSAP) team was set up in January 2016 by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. The Project Team reports to a Project Programme Board that is made up of senior personnel representing employers from across the public service.
A standard methodology is being followed:
Baseline Study 2014:
- The Baseline Study was carried out to examine the operation of the Single Scheme at the time and assess implementation across the public service.
- In 2014 membership was low at 22,000, with a number of specific challenges in implementation found in the Health and Education sectors, where casual working is widespread.
- A wide range of HR, payroll and pensions systems were found to be in operation across the public service.
Feasibility Study 2016/7:
- The purpose of this phase was to examine various options for the long-term administration of the Single Scheme.
- Extensive engagement was held with bodies across all sectors to review all aspects of operation of the Single Scheme.
- The findings were then evaluated against 5 possible operating models, which were assessed in terms of their ability to easily implement all Scheme rules; provide a good member experience; costs to implement and operate; and risks associated with implementation.
- The outcomes from this assessment were brought to Government for decision in April 2017. The result is that a phased approach to implementation has been agreed. This will involve designing and developing a Shared Single Scheme Administration Service for operation in the long-term, while all Relevant Authorities undertake the work required to meet their legal obligations in the short-term.
Immediate Implementation by all Relevant Authorities:
All Relevant Authorities must undertake the work required to fully implement all Single Scheme rules and provide benefit information to all those who have been members of the Scheme since Jan 2013. DPER will support Relevant Authorities through the provision of toolkits and guidelines via this website and training sessions that will be run from autumn 2017.
Development of a Single Scheme Databank:
DPER will lead the development of a Databank to secure all member benefit information dating back to 2013. Training will be provided to all Relevant Authorities on the format of member data to be provided to it from 2018 onwards.
Design of a Long-Term Shared Single Scheme Administration Service:
The requirements for a Shared Single Scheme Administration Service will be defined in consultation with all sectors of the Public Service. The intention will be to design standardised, end-to-end processes that will form the basis of subsequent procurement/build phases of work, in order to establish a shared administration service in the long-term.
Updates on the Single Scheme Administration Project will be placed on the Project News and Bulletins Section of our website each quarter.