As part of our series looking at what firms did to win accolades at the UK Pensions Awards 2016, PP speaks to B&CE chief executive Patrick Heath-Lay about how the firm won the DC Pension Provider of the Year category.
Video: B&CE chief executive Patrick Heath-Lay
PP: What did you do to win this award?
PHL: As a value driven organisation, our focus is on our members and ensuring we deliver the best service possible when they need us. This extends to all of our customer and adviser contacts. We now look after millions of retirement savers and have seen significant growth over the last four years since launching The People’s Pension. It’s about what we do, but more importantly how we do it.
In addition to dealing with a massive increase in members, we have also focused on offering flexible access to savings through UFPLS. While the vast majority of our members have small pots, we knew there were some who would want to be able to access their funds flexibly over time. We also developed even quicker sign up routes for The People’s Pension, and kept our award-winning customer service and support levels high while we did it.
We’re really proud of the service and support we offer everyone we work with, and we think it’s that which has been recognised by the judges.
PP: What do you believe sets you apart from your peers?
PHL: Our not-for-profit status and our values as an organisation. We seek to create simplicity at all times whilst keeping our promises to customers and colleagues and showing compassion in all that we do. We haven’t just stopped with our signifi cant growth in pension activities seen over the last few years, using our greater visibility to add value locally by supporting local charities and initiatives making us a real part of our community.
And also our experience in our market. We’ve been in business for nearly three quarters of a century now, and we’ve got a strong track record of supporting employers of all shapes and sizes. As we’ve specialised in helping them navigate pensions for years, we’re perfectly placed to deliver for the widest possible audience.
PP: What are your plans for the year ahead?
PHL: We really believe in the master trust model. In the right hands, and with appropriate regulatory requirements, it offers strong governance and an economy of scale which is especially beneficial to mass market pensions.
We believe that our customers and members should get the best deal possible, and that is why we will be looking to move all our customers to The People's Pension going forward. It will deliver the best outcomes for members and the market as a whole. We will also look to develop our ‘at retirement’ offering and make improvements to the investment choices members have to ensure they are really delivering simple but effective outcomes.
PP: How will you build on your success at the UKPA?
PHL: We’re going to continue to put customers first in everything we do. Despite how well things have gone so far, we’re not complacent.
We’ll continue to focus on the challenge of the remaining automatic enrolment timetable, ensuring we maintain the customer service standards that our customers expect from us.
So we’ll continue to create simplicity and make things better for our members, employer customers and the intermediaries we work with. We want to build a better, smarter, faster and richer customer experience, building trust in pensions and playing our part in helping savers become more engaged.
Extract from The People's Pension's original UKPA submission
B &CE says it constantly strives to innovate for the benefit of the members of both of its master trust, The People's Pension, and its historic stakeholder scheme, EasyBuild.
In 2015 B&CE ensured that members of both of its schemes were able to access the new pension freedoms quickly and efficiently through small pot claims and uncrystallised fund pension lump sums (UFPLS) – processing just over 9,000 requests in six months.
In addition to this, it researched and developed a new streamlined sign-up process for employers signing up to The People's Pension following research which told it most small employers needed a high level of support.
It created a choice of two new routes for employers, Simply Comply and Simply Tailor.
Simply Comply is B&CE's fastest ever sign up route at just three minutes and does exactly what it says on the tin. Simply Tailor is also fast but also offers the opportunity to bespoke scheme set up options. This makes it perfect for advisers who want to add additional value, or for employers who want more choice. Both journeys deliver everything, each step of the way, to make sure employers meet their obligations.
To support these two new routes and make sure they deliver for B&CE's customers, it extended its call centre opening hours; upgraded its online help facilities with new tools and calculators; increased the number of payroll processing options it off ers; and created its own plain language guide for users as well as a knowledgebase for frequently asked questions.
And it improved how it communicates with its customers and members while delivering a proven high quality service. Indeed, 86% of those signing up with B&CE between April and October 2015 said they'd recommend the fi rm to others, while 85% rated its sign up process as good or better.
The UK Pensions Awards 2016 Winners’ Series
- How Hymans Robertson won the Actuarial / Pensions Consultancy of the Year award
- How Capita Employee Benefits won the Employee Benefits Consultancy of the Year award
- How LCP won the DC Consultancy of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the Investment Consultancy of the Year award
- How Travers Smith won the Pension Lawyers of the Year award
- How LCP won the Risk Reduction Adviser of the Year award
- How B&CE won the DC Pension Provider of the Year award
- How The People’s Pension won the DC Master Trust of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the Third-Party Administrator of the Year award
- How LCP won the DC Innovation of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the DC Investment Innovation of the Year award
- How Capita Employee Benefits won the Communication Innovation of the Year award
Thousands of savers taking tax-free lump sums ahead of retirement are at risk of a pensions shortfall in later life due to neglecting their remaining pot, Zurich has warned.
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?
Headline dividend payments have reached record levels in 2018. James Phillips asks if trustees should be concerned over the current high level of yields.