Getting under the skin of corporate pensions

Whilst it might seem like a simple process on the surface, there is a fine art to successful pension’s delivery. Of course when things are running smoothly it is easy to overlook the complexities that are involved, but as is the case with Dataplan’s pensions experts they are often working tirelessly in the background to ensure that clients only experience a seamless and stress free process.

Since this is the case, today we have decided to get “under the skin” of our Corporate Pension Team to understand all the hard work and expertise that really go into delivering a pension service for our clients.

The Corporate Pensions Team covers a range of areas

  • the day to day administration of schemes such as uploading contributions and updating member information
  • ensuring schemes remain compliant i.e. checking the correct contributions are being paid, that eligible members are enrolled
  • completing the scheme Re-enrolment and Re-Declaration of Compliance every 3 years
  • providing information to clients on the pension scheme and answering general pension queries 
  • setting up new schemes and their completing Declaration of Compliance
  • producing auto enrolment letters

Handling pension contribution uploads

Since the lockdown began back in March 2020, the team took over uploading contributions for all corporate and even some education clients. From around the 20th of the month to the 10th of next month their main focus is uploading contributions to providers to meet the deadline of the 22nd. They upload contributions for over 700 clients who have NEST pensions and around 350 clients who use other pension providers such as The Peoples Pension, SMART, AEGON, Aviva, Standard Life, NOW, the pension trust, Creative, Legal and General, Royal London and Scottish Widows. 

During the month, they spend time planning in the run up to the busy period, making sure they have all the information needed for new clients going live for a smooth transition for us taking over the administration of the scheme. On top of this they have numerous day to day queries in respect of all areas of pension schemes ranging from enrolment to the pension contribution annual allowance. 

Setting up new clients

For new clients, setting up a pension is an involved process, in the first instance the team like to check to make sure that they have the scheme rules in place such as:

  • Pensionable salary and what elements of pay this includes
  • The contribution %’s for both the employer and employee
  • What type of tax relief is used
  • If the scheme uses salary sacrifice


They then need to ensure that the information is in our software together with setting up the auto enrolment letters and obtaining delegate access to the pension scheme.

Compliance with re-declarations

Every three years, all schemes must re-enrol – this happens on the three year anniversary of either the staging date or the previous re-enrolment date. Any employees that have earnings over £833, are over 22, under the State Pension Age and haven’t opted out within one year of the re-enrolment date will be enrolled.

Our pension team e-mail clients 4 months prior to their re-enrolment date to enquire as to which re-enrolment date they want to choose (they have 3 months before and 3 months after the anniversary date), they also provide warnings letters for those individuals who could potentially be re-enrolled and complete the Re-Declaration of Compliance one month after the re-enrolment date. There are a number of re-enrolments occurring every month. 

Using Dataplan for your pension needs

Once we have access to your pension scheme and have the scheme rules set up in our software, we will assess employees, postpone where necessary, enrol when they are eligible, process opt ins, upload contributions, and ensure the scheme is compliant. So, other than having to tell us if there any changes to employees % or circumstances, we can run the scheme on your behalf.  

For more information about our pension service or to discuss your needs contact us.

Written by Lucy Brewitt
Published on August 3, 2021

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