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Privacy Notice

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) requires organisations to be more transparent and accountable to individuals about how it manages and controls their data. This Privacy Notice, sets out how the West Midlands Pension Fund manages its members' data, including who it shares data with and for what purpose it might be used.

Purpose and Background

The City of Wolverhampton Council (The Data Controller) administers the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) on behalf of all public body employers throughout the West Midlands, including the 7 District Councils and trades as the West Midlands Pension Fund administering the Local Government Pension Benefits of over 300,000 members.

The Fund holds personal information about individuals so that it can provide the pension services to members and employers. The Fund has a legal basis for the holding and processing of data which is section 8 (c) of the DPA. To elaborate, section 8 (c) states:

[...] processing of personal data that is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of the controller's official authority includes processing of personal data that is necessary for- (sub section c) the exercise of a function conferred on a person by an enactment or rule of law,

The Fund holds information about individuals so that it can provide statutory and best practice services (as outlined by the Fund's Regulators) to members and other stakeholders. Information is held to ensure the Fund fulfils its statutory duty to pay pension benefits to eligible individuals when they fall due. The Fund has a legal obligation and statutory duty to provide individuals with certain information under a number of regulations including:

  • The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013 [SI 2013/2734]
  • The Pensions Act 2011(Transitional, Consequential and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2014 [SI 2014/1711]
  • The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Amendment Regulations 2015 [SI 2015/482]
  • The LGPS Regulations 2013 up to and including the amendments made through Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 755 (LGPS REGS)
  • The Public Services Pensions Act 2013
  • The Pensions Act 2004
  • The Pensions Act 2021

Under these regulations the Fund has a legal requirement to provide individuals with the following:

  • Basic information to members on the LGPS on joining or upon request by other validated parties
  • Information to early leavers and those retiring from the LGPS
  • Information on request relating to transfers to and from the LGPS
  • Issue Annual Benefit Statements to all eligible active and deferred members of the LGPS no later than the 31 August each year.
  • Information regarding changes to the regulations that govern the LGPS that may affect the calculation of benefits

The Fund may, if it chooses, pass certain details to a third party, if that third party is carrying out an administrative function of the Fund, for example, the Fund's appointed Actuary organisation. Any such arrangements will be governed by a Data Sharing Agreement.

By law, the Fund are also required in certain circumstances to share information with government organisations such as Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) so that they can monitor our performance and ensure that public funds are safeguarded. This also includes Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) Reconciliation.

Collection of Information

The Fund collects information from scheme members' employers regarding their employment (salary, contact information, and past service details). Information is also obtained directly from the member in regard to other pension benefits they may hold. This information is required by statute in order to manage and administer a member's pension account.

The Fund reviews the information received from employers, ensuring it is relevant to the performance of its duty as a local government pension provider. This ensures that the information it holds is specific and relevant for the purposes it was collected.

The Fund may hold information which is not immediately relevant (nomination details of third parties for example) however, due to the nature of the pension provision, the benefits may become payable at any given date. This information would be relevant and required at the point the pension benefits are payable.

The Fund may use tools to collect data from members to support service delivery. This is often on a feedback basis and is voluntarily provided. These tools include but are not limited to:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Menti Metre
  • Eventbrite

Who we may share your information with?

The Fund may share or disclose your information to any of the following bodies or organisations, where necessary to administer the scheme in line with statutory obligations and/or to comply with contractual obligations relating to it. In certain circumstances, these bodies may also be data controllers in their own right. These organisations in respect of the Fund are as follows:

Type of service/advisor

Name

Reasons for sharing data

Scheme Actuary & Benefits Consultant

Barnett Waddingham

To calculate the value of the Fund's assets and liabilities based on its membership profile and to set employer contribution rates based on that information

Statutory

Scheme AVC Provider

Prudential

To facilitate the creation and maintenance of individual member's AVC accounts.

The Fund is required by law to have an additional voluntary contribution provider (AVC). Through this arrangement, Prudential may have access to your contact details in order to provide information and options in relation to AVCs. 

Statutory

 

Scheme Auditor

Grant Thornton

To facilitate the statutory duty of the auditing of the Fund's Annual Report and Statement of Accounts and internal controls.

Statutory

Overseas Payments Provider

Citibank

To transmit payments to scheme members with non-UK bank accounts.

By authority / instruction from the scheme member

LGPS National Insurance Database

South Yorkshire Pension Fund

To enable the Fund to identify if their members have benefits in other LGPS schemes to ensure that appropriate benefits are paid.

Best practice across LGPS for fraud prevention and to ensure accuracy of benefits

Regulators: the government, law enforcement bodies including local and foreign courts, tribunals and arbitrators, other judicial committees of enactments of laws.

 

National Fraud Initiative

Government Actuary Department

The Pensions Regulator

The Scheme Advisory Board

To comply with the Fund's statutory duty in the management and administration of benefits, this includes participation in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative for the purposes of the prevention and detection of fraud against the Fund and organisations within the public sector and the Government Actuary's department for the calculation of the triennial assessment of the cost of the Local Government Pension Scheme on a national basis as per the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

Statutory

Pension Administration System Software Provider

Civica

To provide software management support in the delivery of the Fund's electronic pension case management and benefit calculation system.

The Fund upholds a Data Sharing Agreement with this party.

Software required to support statutory functions.

Tracing Service
Third Party Contractor

Target Professional Services Limited

To accurately trace eligible members or third parties in order to fulfil statutory functions such as correct payment of benefits.

The Fund upholds a Data Sharing Agreement with this party.

Best practice to support statutory functions and service delivery.

Other Third Party Contractors

Available upon Request

The Fund contracts third party organisations on an ad-hoc basis to carry out services as and when required on our behalf. Information regarding these organisations is available upon request. Where services are required on an ongoing basis, the Fund upholds Data Sharing Agreements with relevant data processors.

Best practice to support statutory functions and service delivery.

Who else may have access to your information?

The Fund procures the services of various providers to support its management and administration of the scheme. Those suppliers may have access to the personal data held by the Fund for the purposes of supporting the IT infrastructure only, they will not have access to the information for any other purpose.

The West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Pension Fund is subject to an insurance buy-in, data is therefore shared with the provider Prudential.

Where members are subject to a TUPE arrangement, under instruction from the current employer the Fund may be required to share pension benefit information with any new employer.

Retention Periods

Under data protection laws, individuals have the right to have the information held about them deleted or removed from databases maintained by data controllers.

The Fund, in providing statutory duties under the regulations has determined that it cannot permanently delete a member's record. Should a member transfer out of the scheme, the Fund will retain a basic record confirming the member's name, contact, date of birth and national insurance number and any relevant documents determined by the Fund to support future statutory processing. The basic member details are required to be retained to enable the Fund to comply with statutory and legal obligations such as fraud prevention and GMP reconciliation. Data is held securely, as outlined in the Data Management Framework.

Compliance

Data subjects have the right to lodge a complaint with higher supervisory authorities if they suspect a data controller has unlawfully restricted access to their data or if the data controller has refused their request to the erasure of specified data without sufficient grounds. s.51 of the DPA fully outlines the circumstances where such complaints can be made.

Please refer to the Funds' Data Protection Policy for our statement with regards to our Data Subjects' individual rights under current data protection legislation.  

The supervisory authority that regulates the Information Governance of the Fund is the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). For more information making a complaint about how data controllers such as the Fund handle/process your data please contact the ICO on their website which is linked here: https://ico.org.uk/   

To contact the Fund for any further queries in regard to our Privacy Notice or data protection matters, please email our Data Protection Officer at wmpfdataprotectionofficer@wolverhampton.gov.uk

For more information relating to a member's rights under data protection law, please click on "Your Rights" tab on the left hand side. 

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