As part of our series looking at what firms did to win accolades at the UK Pensions Awards 2016, PP speaks to Hymans Robertson third-party administration practice leader Tracy Weller about how the firm won the TPA of the Year category.
Video: Hymans Robertson third-party administration practice leader Tracy Weller
PP: What does it mean to win this award?
TW: Winning this award is recognition for what we are good at and known for by our clients. Our pensions administration and support teams can feel justly proud of their achievements and the public recognition this award provides alongside our PASA accreditation. We hope our clients see this award as independent verifi cation that we continue to provide high quality administration services to them and their members.
PP: What do you believe sets you apart from your peers and contributes to this success?
TW: Our response to last year’s Freedom and Choice, and subsequent review and new approach to member communications highlights how we put members’ needs at the heart of our service. Working with like minds, a specialist communication consultancy, partly owned by Hymans Robertson, we completely reviewed the pack of material we provide to DB members at retirement. The resulting jargon free pack, simply uses colour coded links to clearly show members the quoted amounts for each option. Making information clear and accessible.
Winning this award gives us confidence in what we are doing and how we are doing it, and reinforces our commitment to provide a high quality service. It’s great to be recognised for this and all the hard work our team put into delivering to our clients and their members every day.
We pride ourselves on our culture. A happy workforce is one that goes the extra mile and really cares when it counts, and importantly, ensures we get it right for the member and the client. We won’t compromise on service delivery, be that having the right team in place or systems and processes.
PP: What are the key challenges facing your pension scheme clients and how are you helping them address these issues?
TW: The importance of scheme data is recognised across the industry, it can impact the quality of service provided to members and increases costs for Trustees. Data issues come to the forefront particularly when a scheme undertakes a project.
We are investing in our data model and processing capabilities to make data more accessible.
This year we will be offering ‘on demand’ valuations to our clients, which means providing quarterly valuation data to our clients – accurate and bang up to date data are fundamental to this.
PP: How will you continue to improve your services to pension scheme clients over the coming 12 months?
We’ve recently developed new quarterly administration report which we call our Administration Dashboard. Our goal is to provide this ‘report’ online, allowing our clients to get real time access to the status of the administration service they are receiving, providing the ultimate visibility in service delivery.
Extract from Hymans Robertson's original UKPA submission
Hymans Robertson used the freedom and choice changes, announced in the 2014 Budget, as a trigger to completely redesign its defined benefit retirement pack for scheme members. Hymans brought its pension technical experts and in-house legal advisers together to work with likeminds, a specialist communications company partly owned by Hymans Robertson.
The resulting attractive, jargon free and clearly presented folder of information was well received by its clients, who agreed to its use.
The administrator also expanded its online secure service, pensionsWEB, during the year – making it mobile phone and tablet friendly and adding a number of features for members.
It has also developed validation checks for the receipt of updated DB information from payroll departments directly through an employer secure online portal – enabling companies to investigate apparent discrepancies immediately.
In addition to these innovations, Hymans Robertson completed the transition of its largest client to date in February 2015, with over 14,000 active, deferred and pensioner members. In doing so, the firm was able to demonstrate its tried and tested process was totally scalable.
During the year, Hymans Robertson also obtained PASA Accreditation status following an independent inspection – becoming the first third-party administrator to hold this, and providing extra reassurance of the quality of work for its clients.
The firm's approach is to put personal service to members as its main driver – saying that, when coupled with a friendly, partnering business relationship with trustees, it finds this model works well for those clients who want more than just a compliant service.
The success of this approach is shown by the fact it retained all its existing administration clients during the year as well as attracting five new appointments.
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
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Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.