The Avon Pension Fund participates in two national initiatives that involve sharing data about members – the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) National Insurance database and the Tell Us Once service.
The Avon Pension Fund is participating in NI database sharing project with the other 89 LGPS pension funds in England, Wales and Scotland, in order to comply with legal requirements. These state that, if a member of the LGPS dies, it is necessary for the scheme’s administrators to know if the individual also had other periods of LGPS membership elsewhere in the country so that the right death benefits can be calculated and paid to the deceased member’s dependants.
As the LGPS is locally administered, each pension fund has its own membership records and it can be difficult to tell if an individual has other LGPS records and where these are held. To comply with the requirements set out above, a national database has been developed that will enable funds to check if their members have LGPS pensions records in other pension funds.
The database is hosted at the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, an LGPS pension fund. The data held on the database will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation.
An extract of the membership information contained in the NI database will periodically be shared with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) so that the LGPS can join the Tell Us Once service.
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a service offered in most parts of the country when an individual registers a death. When the death of an LGPS member is registered, the DWP systems will ensure that the LGPS pension fund is informed of the death, meaning that the member’s records can be processed more quickly and simply than would otherwise be the case.
For the Tell Us Once service, an extract of the database containing individuals’ NI Numbers will be securely shared with DWP every month so that they may maintain an up-to-date record of the LGPS’s membership.
As mentioned above this information sharing arrangements comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation and as this data sharing is partly being undertaken to comply with a legal requirement, it is not possible for scheme members to opt out of the data sharing.