SAM - Special Bulletin 2011-003

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Subject: Employer Support Services - Crown corporations, Agencies and territorial governments that are NOT serviced by the Regional Pay System

April 11, 2011

1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of this bulletin is to inform Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments not serviced by the Regional Pay System of a new service being offered effective April 11, 2011. This new service consists of support to employers on pension related activities by a specialized group at the Public Service Pension Centre (referred to as "Pension Centre") in Shediac, New Brunswick. This specialized group is known as "Employer Support Services".

1.2. This bulletin includes the Employer Support Services (also available on the Employer Support Services Web page) and the new roles and responsibilities for the Pension Centre and employers.

1.3. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is committed to ensuring that a client focus is maintained and that plan members receive uninterrupted service.

1.4. In this text, use of the masculine is generic and applies to both men and women.

2. Background

2.1. On June 13, 2007, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat granted approval to proceed with two transformation projects of pension administration initiatives, namely the Government of Canada Pension Modernization Project and the Centralization of Pension Services Delivery Project. The objective of these initiatives is to renew the Public Works and Government Services Canada's nearly 40-year old pension administration system, transform business processes and centralize the delivery of pension services to a Centre of Expertise within Public Works and Government Services Canada, namely the Pension Centre, in Shediac, New Brunswick.

2.2. Accordingly, the Centralization of Pension Services Delivery Project team has been established to develop and progressively implement pension services and business processes in accordance with the new model, which allows for self-service options and access to pension expertise through various channels. The project will bring about significant changes in the way pension services are delivered.

3. Policy

3.1. Effective April 11, 2011 pension experts at the Pension Centre will be responsible for providing support services to departments, Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments subject to the public service pension plan.

Employers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the public service pension plan requirements pertaining to remittances and provision of pension data. Participating government organizations play an important role in supporting the administration of the public service pension plan by providing and maintaining plan member human resources and payroll data required by the Pension Centre.

4. Definition

4.1. In order to deliver consistent pension services to all plan members, the Employer Support Services is a new service created to assist the employers who are subject to the public service pension plan with the efficient transmission of human resources and pay information using web-based tools.

Employers will have direct access to pension experts within the Pension Centre via a designated toll-free telephone number or email address. The service will be based on a client-centered approach that strives to foster a strong partnering relationship.

4.2. Effective April 11, 2011, employers will have access to a new Employer Support Services Web page that has been designed using the one-stop shop concept with standardized material in one location, and has been developed for employers as a general reference information tool. The Web page explains in detail the new roles of all employers that are subject to the Public Service Superannuation Act and outlines the specific employer's responsibilities pertaining to an employee's particular pension related activity, provides access to publications, forms and other pension related sites.

The Crown corporation secure portal, which will be available in May 2011, will be located on the Employer Support Services welcome page and will only be available to the employers who are not serviced by the Regional Pay System for their data reporting, remittance and accounting functions. The Crown corporations serviced by the Regional Pay System will have access to the secure portal for their accounting functions.

4.3. Effective April 11, 2011, compensation managers and employer representatives within employers not serviced by the Regional Pay System can contact the Employer Support Services for their questions pertaining to their pension related responsibilities. Compensation managers and employer representatives within Crown corporations serviced by the Regional Pay System can contact the Employer Support Services pertaining to their accounting functions.

5. Procedures and Instructions

5.1. The new Crown corporation secure portal will be accessible through the Employer Support Services Web page in May 2011.

Employer representatives and their managers are encouraged to consult the Web page prior to contacting the Employer Support Services. Should they still have questions after visiting the Web page, they can contact the Employer Support Services directly via a toll-free telephone number, facsimile, regular mail and email, or via secure messaging. For more information, please refer to the "Contact us" page located on the Employer Support Services Web page.

Effective April 11, 2011, employer representatives can contact the Employer Support Services for:

  • the creation of a Personal Record Identifier for those employers without access to the Central Index System;
  • support on the transition to the new Data Capture Tool;
  • support on the new Data Capture Tool which will be available in May 2011;
  • answers on general pension related questions to support quality data entry through Web-based tools;
  • data correction issues.

5.2. Employers must contact the active member line at the Pension Centre for any specific employee related pension questions.

5.3. As of April 11, 2011, with the exception of leave without pay, scheduled for implementation by the end of fiscal year 2011-2012, employer representatives are no longer responsible for providing pension related information (e.g. estimates) to employees and/or plan members. Employees must be referred to the Pension Centre contact information located on the Web portal Your Public Service Pension and Benefits, under "Contact Us". The contact information page includes the Pension Centre Web portal address, email address, toll free telephone number, facsimile number and mailing address, which is different from the employer contact information.

5.4. Designated employer representatives from organizations not serviced by the Regional Pay System as well as representatives from those organizations serviced by the Regional Pay System will require a user ID to access the Crown corporation secure portal via the Internet. For more information on this topic, please refer to the ARCHIVED Special Advice to Crown Corporations: 2010-002.

5.5. All employers remain responsible for submitting correct data and commencing deductions appropriately.

5.6. Please refer to the roles and responsibilities document included in this bulletin for procedures and information on the new process.

6. Communications

6.1. The Centralization project team will monitor the progress of this service following implementation, and will keep you informed of the results as well as the development and implementation of any other employer focused services.

7. Publications

7.1. The Superannuation Administration Manual will be updated to incorporate the relevant information contained in this bulletin.

8. Inquiries

8.1. Any inquiries regarding the information contained in this document should be addressed to Employer Support Services, who will direct your inquiry to the appropriate PWGSC Compensation Services Office.

Original Signed by
Carrie E. Roussin

Carrie E. Roussin
Director General
Compensation Sector
Accounting, Banking and Compensation

Roles and Responsibilities

Employer Support Services - Roles and Responsibilities (Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments not serviced by the Regional Pay System)

Implementation Date: April 11, 2011

Introduction

Responsibility for the administration of the public service pension plan rests with Public Works and Government Services Canada. Within Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre) in Shediac, New Brunswick has the primary responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the public service pension plan on behalf of all active and retired plan members and their survivors throughout Canada and abroad.

Effective April 11, 2011 a new section at the Pension Centre , known as Employer Support Services, will begin operations. Its staff will be responsible to assist employers with the efficient transmission of Human Resources and payroll information, and the use of Web-based tools.

A chart outlining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders with regards to specific employer related activities has been included with this Superannuation Administration Manual Special Bulletin. The following is an outline of the new process.

Throughout the documents, reference is made to employer representatives. Employer representatives include Heads of HR, compensation managers and authorized Data Capture Tool users, as well as authorized Accounting users in the non-regional pay offices (offices providing pay services to employers not serviced by the Regional Pay System) and Crown corporations serviced by the regional Pay Office.

Pension Centre's Responsibilities

At the Pension Centre, Employer Support Services assume the responsibility for the provision of information and the required support pertaining to the following employer related activities. Pension experts will provide employers with general information about the pension plan and assist with the navigation of the self-serve tools on the Web. The first services to be offered by the Employer Support Services will include the following areas:

  • Creation of the Personal Record Identifier for employers without access to the Central Index System;
  • Support on pension tools (Web self-service, transition to and support on the new Data Capture Tool);
  • Advisory (general explanation of plan rules to support quality data entry through Web based information sources); and
  • Operational (data correction).

We will keep employers informed of the additional services to be offered by Employer Support Services as they become available.

Employer's Responsibilities

Each employer's main responsibilities regarding a plan member's pension and the administration of members' benefits under the public service pension plan consist of:

  • Deducting plan members' contributions (current, service buyback and Supplementary Death Benefit) from their regular salaries;
  • Initiating, amending and stopping transactions based on plan member activities (e.g. leave without pay);
  • Reconciling plan members' accounts on a regular basis (employers not serviced by the Regional Pay System);
  • Clarifying pension data/information for the Pension Centre as required;
  • Creating a Personal Record Identifier using the Central Index System or contacting the Employer Support Services to obtain a Personal Record Identifier (if employer does not have access to the Central Index System; and
  • Consulting the Employer Support Services Web page.

The Data Capture Tool (DCT) will be in implemented in May 2011. Employer responsibilities pertaining to the DCT consist of:

  • Providing the Pension Centre with clean, accurate, and timely data on a monthly basis (salary, service and contribution information, termination date and reason, the plan member's address, province of work, employment status change, leave without pay types - pensionable and non-pensionable - on event, and pension adjustments) for both contributor and non-contributor employees;
  • Remitting employee and employer share of pension contributions upon receipt of monthly invoice via the Crown corporation secure portal (available May 2011) on the Employer Support Services Web page.

Employer Support Services Web Page

The Employer Support Services Web page has been developed for the employer as a general reference information tool and outlines the specific employer's responsibilities pertaining to an employee's specific pension related activity. The Web page explains, in detail, the new roles of all employers that are subject to the Public Service Superannuation Act.

As this Web page is the primary source of comprehensive pension related information for employers, it is always preferable that you first consult it prior to contacting Employer Support Services directly.

Please note that employers must contact the active member line at the Pension Centre for any specific employee related pension questions.

Contacts for Employers

Effective April 11, 2011, questions related to general pension data reporting information can be directed to the Employer Support Services at 1-877-427-1510.

For questions related to a specific employee, please contact the Pension Centre using the active member contact information.

Note: Employer representatives should not contact the Pension Centre on behalf of employees, but rather refer the plan members directly to the Pension Centre contact information on the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal.

Employer Support Services - Service Levels and Goals

Telephone inquiries will be responded to within two business days.

Web inquiries will be processed within five business days.

Your Web site

Employers can access the Employer Support Services Web page through the Pay and Pension Services for Government Employees Web site.

The Compensation Sector Web site has been updated to add the new Employer Support Services Web page and will be available on April 11, 2011. The link to the Crown corporation secure portal will be available in May 2011.

Roles and Responsibilities
Activity Employer Employer Support Services
Assign a Personal Record Identifier to all employees (contributors and non-contributors). If employer has access to the Central Index System, employer creates the Personal Record Identifier.

If employer does not have access to the Central Index System, contact the Employer Support Services to obtain the Personal Record Identifier. The employer will be required to provide the pension expert on the telephone with the employee's last name and initial, social insurance number, as well as the Crown corporation's acronym and paylist number.

Create a Personal Record Identifier and provide it to the employer.
Deduct pension contributions. Deduct plan members' contributions from pensionable salaries and allowances

As instructed by the Pension Centre, initiate, amend or stop deductions for other types of service (i.e. service buyback)

 
Additional roles and responsibilities related to the implementation of the Data Capture Tool (DCT) - May 2011
Activity Employer Employer Support Services
Request user ID and password for employer representative to access the Crown corporation secure portal (for receipt of invoice and secure messaging) and/or the Data Capture Tool. (Crown corporations serviced by the Regional Pay System and Crown corporations not serviced by the Regional Pay System) Complete and forward the "Employer Representative User ID Request" form (PWGSC-TPSGC 591 - Employer Representative User ID Request - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies.) to the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre) at the address provided on the form

Upon receipt of user ID from the Pension Centre, contact the Public Works and Government Services Canada national service desk at 1-855-830-7782 to obtain a password

Verify validity of information provided by Crown corporations, update Penfax and forward to the Security Access Control Officers at the Pension Centre

Once the Security Access Control Officers has set up the account, send user ID to the employer representative

Provide employee data (e.g. taken on strength, plan member's address, salary, service, leave without pay, contributions and termination) to the Pension Centre via the data capture tool for both contributor and non-contributor employees) Using the data capture tool, provide the Human Resources/Payroll information for all employees regardless of the employment status. Report salary and leave without pay data for all employees and contributions for all contributing employees on a monthly basis. Report employment terminations and additional employee personal information such as home address, province of work, province of residence, etc. Provide assistance/support on the data capture tool (i.e. data entry, edits, warnings and rejects).
Remittance of pension contributions. (Accounting function) Beginning in June 2011, upon receipt of invoice which will be sent via secure messaging on the second working day of the month, remit employee and matching employer pension contributions within five days of receipt of invoice.  
Reconciliation of plan member accounts Match deductions to proper codes

Correct data and post to the data capture tool, if applicable

Verify accuracy of data

Contact employer representative to clarify discrepancies

Provision of additional information/data upon receipt of request from the Pension Centre. (data correction activity) Conduct file review and provide information to the Pension Centre

Complete forms and forward to the Pension Centre

Post to the data capture tool, if applicable

Identify discrepancy in data

Contact employer representative to request missing information and/or to clarify discrepanc

Provide pension adjustment (PA) values to Pension Centre (Crowns corporations not serviced by the Regional Pay System) Upon plan member's departure, provide PA values for the year of termination

Provide PA values for all plan members at year-end (calendar year)

Enter and post to DCT

 
Provide pay period schedules. (Crown corporations not serviced by the Regional Pay System) At year-end (calendar year), provide the pay period schedule to Public Works and Government Services Canada.