Lloyds Banking Group has secured one million new pension customers since the start of 2018, according to its half year results to 30 June.
This beats the group's initial target to reach one million new customers by 2020, something the bank initially put forward in its three-year strategic plan in February last year. By February 2019, the group had hit 630,000 new customers, as stated in its annual results.
The customers included people who were auto-enrolled into the Scottish Widows master trust, which is part of Lloyds, and people who had purchased individual annuities, as well as scheme members that had transferred via bulk annuities.
The increase includes some of the 10 million people who have joined a pension scheme since 2012 as a result of auto-enrolment, which saw total minimum contributions rise to a total of 8% from 5% in April.
Published on the London Stock Exchange today (31 July), the group noted there was growth shown in its life and pensions sales, which were up 14% over the first half of the year, "driven by increases in new members in existing workplace schemes and increased AE workplace contributions", it said. Its life and pensions new business income was up 27%, to £340m.
The half year results also noted that its single customer view capability - which enables customers to view all of their pension and insurance products that they hold with Lloyds - is now available to more than four million customers, up by more than a million since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, the firm said the remaining transfers of the acquired Zurich UK workplace pensions and savings business in July 2019, added around £9bn to assets under administration, bringing the total transferred to £18bn. The bank's Scottish Widows brand completed its acquisition of Zurich's £15bn UK workplace pensions and savings business last year.
Administration expenses for pensions and other post-retirement benefit schemes were down from £405m in June 2018, to £280m in June 2019. In December 2018 this rested at £300m. Lloyds has a total of 12 schemes, six of which are defined benefit.
Lloyds was last year involved in a landmark case over equalising guaranteed minimum pensions, with the High Court ruling a variety of methods were possible. The GMP impact on the group's schemes was not included in the half year results.
This week’s top stories included the rejection of an automatic guidance amendment in the Pension Schemes Bill, while The Pensions Regulator posted a sharp increase in the use of its powers.
The majority of the pensions industry agrees an eventual net-zero target should not be mandated for schemes as part of the Pension Schemes Bill, according to a Professional Pensions poll.
Local Pension Partnership Administration (LPPA) has become the latest organisation to join the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) forum.
Two-thirds of UK fund managers are reducing investments in companies that fail on diversity and inclusion scores, according to a survey by Edelman.
England and Wales have seen a fourth successive week of increasing excess death figures as the countries battle through the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.