Lancashire council pension fund members given "incorrect calculations" and retirement options

More than two dozen members of Lancashire’s local authority pension scheme were provided with incorrect calculations as a result of a spreadsheet error.

By Paul Faulkner
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 3:18 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 3:20 pm

The glitch occurred back in October and was one of several data and administrative breaches affecting the fund late last year, which also included one member being given the wrong retirement options and three people being sent pension-related correspondence intended for others.

The issues were highlighted in papers presented to a meeting of the Lancashire Local Pension Board.

The Lancashire County Pension Fund is administered by the Local Pension Partnership (LPP), which was set up in 2016 as a vehicle to pool the pension assets of Lancashire County Council and the London Pensions Fund Authority. It has since grown to provide administrative services to over 600,000 pension scheme members across 1,900 public sector employers.

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A report based on data from Local Pension Partnership Administration Limited (LPPA) reveals that between October and December last year, there were five data breaches, seven so-called “code of practice 14” breaches and two process breaches.

These included 25 Lancashire members receiving incorrect calculations because of an error on a spreadsheet, one member being provided with what were described as “incorrect retirement options”, another not receiving their retirement options in a timely manner and a further member being given “incorrect retirement figures”.

In addition, two members received information relating to another member attached to their correspondence, data relating to one member was “erroneously sent” to another and an email meant for the Lancashire County Council payroll team was instead sent to the equivalent department in Lancaster City Council. An email address belonging to a “trusted employer” was also wrongly cc'd into a message.

The pension fund board meeting heard that the errors will become the subject of reports to be sent to those responsible for them, so that they understand how they came to make the mistake.

After the meeting, a spokesman for the LPPA told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "The LPPA takes the security of confidential member information seriously and, whilst we are unable to comment on individual cases, any data breach that does occur is identified through our detection, investigation and reporting procedures - and included as a standing item on the Lancashire Local Pension Board agenda.

"For those reported in the most recent meeting, it was concluded by the Information Governance team of Lancashire County Council that ‘none of the breaches were material or worthy of reporting to the regulator… and corrective action was implemented as soon as the breaches came to light to minimise or prevent future recurrence’."