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Teachers’ Pensions – Back to the Future

There has been some significant back-tracking from Teachers’ Pensions (TP) over the last month. Not that you would realise this from their website which simply suggests there has been a useful extension of their deadline for an independent review of schools’ End of Year Certificates (‘EOYC’s) until 30 November 2017.

However, the revised version of their guidance on the work required on the ‘EOYC’ drops the need for a ‘reasonable assurance’ report (effectively expressing an opinion as you would in an ‘audit’) to a factual report. This new report is based upon ‘agreed upon procedures’, simply confirming that certain checks have been performed and the results of these, which is akin to work which would have been performed in the past.

The reason for this u-turn is linked to problems with the original guidance which HAT, amongst other organisations, identified to TP in July – there was no guidance on what TP considered to be ‘material’ and hence reportable and no guidance on the extent to which firms could limit their liability to the school and TP.

Whilst some might consider the reduction in risk on these assignments to be a good thing, firms which now have to issue a second letter of engagement for the current assignment and re-draft the report to be provided might disagree. Firms who had already submitted reasonable assurance reports on the flawed guidance may also be concerned.

We’ve updated our Academies Manual to reflect the new Guidance, details of the update can be obtained within the Useful Documents section of our website.

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