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Monthly Contributions Reconciliation MCR submission key issues

Monthly Contributions Reconciliation (MCR) submission - key issues

We’re currently in the process of on-boarding our MCR Pilot Group and, in doing so, have identified a few common issues that employers are experiencing with their submissions.

We’ve prepared a few points that’ll help you with your MCR submission process.

Please check these to ensure that your submission will be as smooth as possible and you don’t have any unexpected errors.

‘Enrolment type’ field population

The ‘enrolment type’ field has been introduced to MCR to allow for automatic and contractual enrolments to be provided in a simpler way. Previously, this was completed using the enrolment template, which is a separate process.

We’ve noticed some of you have been providing enrolments for members who’ve not been automatically or contractually enrolled and, in some cases, provided enrolments for all members in a submission.

This causes issues, as you may have members who have opted out of the Scheme and this “re-enrolment” means we now expect pension contributions to be provided.

Please ensure that you only provide ’AUTO’ for automatic or ’CONT’ for contractual enrolments if the member is enrolling on the start date for the service row.

If they’re not enrolling on this date, please leave the enrolment type field blank.

Re-uploading error files

Two types of error file can be produced from an MCR submission: ‘warning files’; and ‘stop files’.

Both files can be imported into the MCR template for updates and changes to be made.

We’ve seen that some of you have tried to update these files and upload them without importing them into the MCR template.

This is a change compared to the prior Monthly Data Collection (MDC) process, where you could previously edit this file and re-upload.

Please make sure to import these error files into the MCR template and perform any updates in this, then produce a new output file and re-upload.

Opening MCR files in Excel

A dedicated import function has been developed within the MCR template to allow for comma-separated values (.csv) files to be reviewed and updated in the template.

We’ve noticed that some employers are opening the files we returned to them in Excel first and then saving the file, which will corrupt the formatting of the data.

Excel will remove leading zeros and re-format some values such as role identifier, which will mean the MCR template can’t read your submission when you try to import.

To remove the risk of this issue, please make sure to use the ‘Save As’ option when downloading an MCR file we provide to you. Please make sure you do not use the ‘Open’ option as this will cause the issue.

Once you’ve saved this file to your computer, please use the MCR template import function, then you can edit the file we’ve provided and produce a new output.

Opted out member’s contribution tier should be blank

When a member has opted out of the Scheme, we still require the member’s service and contribution information on an MCR submission.

When this is the case, the ‘Actual Pensionable Pay’ value should be £0, as well as the ‘Employer Contributions’ and ‘Member Contributions’ fields.

We’ve noticed that some employers have also provided a ‘Member Contribution Tier’ for these members; usually 7.4%.

As the member has no pensionable earnings they shouldn’t be included in a contribution tier. and this field must be left blank.

If this isn’t left blank for opted out members, you’ll receive a warning error for the contribution tier, and this will require you to send a correction in your next MCR submission.

Contribution calculation methods

We require a member’s contribution tier (only provide for members who are not on family or occupation sick leave, or who haven’t opted out) to be determined based on the annualised pensionable pay paid in the pay period, excluding backdated pay and overtime.

This tier must then be applied to the pensionable pay paid in the pay period plus any relating to backdated pay or overtime.

We’ve seen that some submissions haven’t used this rule when applying the contribution tier, for example, where the member’s annual salary rate has been used to determine the tier.

This has implications for some members, such as if they’re mid-month starters or leavers, as they may be paying a high contribution tier than necessary.

Please ensure you read the MCR user guidance to ensure you’re deducting contributions correctly before making these deductions to your members.

For more information about the MCR submission process, please see our MCR guides on our website.

For any additional questions not covered in the guidance please contact us by email.

Last Updated: 22/09/2020 09:48

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