UK - Increasing staff shortages mean that traditional approaches to pension administration are no longer sustainable, Aquila warns.
The pensions administration specialist believes companies should look at ways of improving staff productivity to ease the skills shortage.
Aquila corporate services director Jim Kelly said: “The traditional approach to pensions administration requires multi-skilled staff performing the whole range of tasks. With increasing shortages of administration staff this approach is no longer sustainable.”
He added: “We need highly skilled staff but fewer of them and to make better use of the ones that we have.”
Pensions managers should be asking themselves what delivers the lowest cost process said Kelly.
The way to achieve this could be to get more specialised staff doing fewer jobs or selectively outsourcing certain roles.
He added: “We must be prepared to commit to the new order and avoid replicating inefficient working practices.”
Others in the industry agreed that many staff shortages in pensions could be linked to over-work.
Comino pensions director Mick Jennings said: “If you have a high turnover of staff then you should consider looking at giving more administration staff more productive tasks and getting more flexibility [for short term rushes] from temporary low skilled staff.”
However others gave a note of caution and warned that internal processes for administering pensions – including pensions software – must work well to deal with this way of working.
UBSL partner and HighamNobbs founder Richard Nobbs said: “Before you can drive down work to the lowest level you have to set up the processes to deal with that.”
He added: “Software can allow more junior staff to do more complicated tasks by giving [on-screen] guidance through every step of the process.”
In the long run more administration is likely to be done by the scheme members themselves – with benefit information and the ability to change personal details all available on line.
By Jonathan Stapleton
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and will listen to the experiences of steelworkers when transferring their pensions away from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) next week in Port Talbot.
Just Group has acquired a 75% stake in the holding company of Corinthian Pension Consulting in a bid to strengthen its professional defined benefit (DB) advisory services.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has exercised its production order power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the very first time as part of a fraud investigation.
The ITN Limited Pension Scheme has named Trafalgar House as its administrator for an initial term of five years.