SAM - Special Bulletin 2011-004

Subject: Employer Support Services - Departments, Agencies and Crown Corporations Serviced by the Regional Pay System

April 11, 2011

1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of this bulletin is to inform departments, agencies and Crown corporations 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 Your Public Service Pension and Benefits - Contact Us (also available on the Employer Support Services Web page) and the new roles and responsibilities for the Pension Centre and employers.

Crown corporation employers should also read the SAM - Special Bulletin 2011-003 entitled "Employer Support Services - Departments, Agencies and Crown Corporations Not Serviced by the Regional Pay System" for specific roles and responsibilities pertaining to the new accounting processes being introduced at Release 2.0.

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, agencies, Crown corporations 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. It also 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 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.

Plan member data will automatically be submitted to the Data Capture Tool from the Regional Pay System. Therefore, departments do not require access to the tool.

4.3. Effective April 11, 2011, compensation managers within departments, agencies and Crown corporations serviced by the Regional Pay System can contact Contact Us - Employer Support Services for questions pertaining to their pension related responsibilities.

5. Procedures and Instructions

5.1. Compensation advisors and their managers are encouraged to consult the Web site prior to contacting the Employer Support Services. Should they still have pension related questions after visiting the Web page, the managers can contact the Employer Support Services directly via a toll-free telephone number, facsimile, regular mail and email. For more information, please refer to the "Contact Us - Employer Support Services" page located on the Employer Support Services Web page.

5.2. Compensation advisors 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 November 2011, compensation advisors 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 Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal, 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. All employers remain responsible for submitting correct data and commencing deductions appropriately.

5.5. 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 the Public Service Pension Centre. Inquiries regarding the pension implications of Leave Without Pay and social insurance number (SIN) and personal record identifier (PRI) problems should be addressed to your PWGSC's 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 (Departments, Agencies and Crown corporations 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.

On April 11, 2011, a new section at the Pension Centre, known as Employer Support Services, will begin operations. Its staff will be responsible for answering pension related questions from compensation managers, and assist them with the use of web-based tools, such as the Employer Support Services Web page.

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

Pension Centre's Responsibilities

At the Pension Centre, the 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 on the Web. The first services to be offered by the Employer Support Services will include the following areas:

  • Support of pension tools (Employer Support Services, Web self-service);
  • 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 the 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 plan members' benefits under the public service pension plan consist of:

  • Providing clean, accurate, and timely data to the Pension Centre;
  • 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);
  • Clarifying pension data/information for the Pension Centre, as required;
  • Creating a Personal Record Identifier using the Central Index System; and
  • Consulting the Employer Support Services Web page.

Employer Support Services Web Page

The Employer Support Services Web page has been developed for the employers as a general reference information tool and outlines the 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 the Employer Support Services directly.

Please note that employers must contact the plan 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:

Compensation advisors 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 portal through the Compensation Sector 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 made available to the employers who are not serviced by the Regional Pay System in May 2011.

Roles and Responsibilities
Activity Compensation Advisor Pay Office Pension Centre
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 or pay office

date the pay system, if required

Complete forms and forward to Pension Centre, if required

Verify accuracy of data

Contact compensation advisor to clarify information, if required

Correct the pay system, if required

Identify discrepancy in data

Contact pay office or compensation advisor to request missing information and/or to clarify discrepancy