As part of our series looking at what firms did to win accolades at the UK Pensions Awards 2016, PP speaks to LCP partner Mark Jackson about how the firm won the DC Innovation of the Year category.
Video: LCP partner Mark Jackson
PP: What does it mean to win this award?
MJ: There’s always a lot of hard work, and risk, behind innovation - we’re delighted that the creativity and eff ort of our team, leading to the success of LCP Horizon, have been recognised with this award.
PP: What do you believe sets you apart from your peers and contributes to this success?
MJ: It’s part of LCP’s culture to have “big picture” discussions with our clients. In this way, we can take time out from day-to-day deadlines and ask our clients “if you could have anything, what would you want?” The idea for LCP Horizon emerged in exactly this way.
It’s also part of our culture to involve our clients during development of innovation. We had a number of pre-launch iterations of LCP Horizon and this allowed us to follow up and ask “is this the thing you wanted?”
Without a doubt - our clients contributed a great deal to this success too. We couldn’t have produced LCP Horizon by working in our own bubble.
PP: What are the key challenges facing your pension scheme clients and how are you helping them address these issues?
MJ: Prompted by unprecedented change for DC schemes in early 2015, many employers and trustees felt the following challenges:
- Employers and trustees wanted to do more to engage pension savers, but they felt frustrated at the lack of options to do so.
- Scheme membership and investment analysis should be easily accessible for DC schemes – but it wasn’t.
- A modern DC scheme needs differing solutions for differing membership segments.
Whilst there are lots of scheme member websites, there was no trustee or employer portal that helped them to meet these needs. LCP Horizon is one piece of technology that solves all of these challenges. The key objective of LCP Horizon is to make life easy for trustees and employers with a DC scheme, regardless of the underlying investment or administration platform.
LCP Horizon offers trustees and employers powerful tools:
- Unrivalled access to meaningful DC analytics about their membership, improving governance and decision-making;
- Scheme specific, and member specific, targets for retirement savings giving trustees and DC members something to aim for;
- Real-time monitoring of investment strategy performance;
- Identify segments of members and send targeted communications, in an instant. Track what action is taken as a result.
- “Nudge” member behaviour. For example, LCP Horizon allows automated messaging to members (e.g. review the amount you save on your birthday salary review date).
PP: How will you continue to improve your services to pension scheme clients over the coming 12 months?
MJ: What’s really exciting over the next 12 months is that our clients are using LCP Horizon in many different ways – fulfilling the plans that work for their own circumstances. LCP Horizon allows trustees and employers to measure the success of their governance, investment and communication strategies, thereby measuring the improvement in DC member experience.
Improved member experience is what we should all be striving to achieve.
Extract from LCP's original UKPA submission
The 12 months to 31 October 2015 saw unprecedented change around defined contribution schemes, something which LCP has used to drive significant innovation.
In response to feedback from employers and trustees – who said they wanted to do more to engage pension savers but felt frustrated at the lack of options to do so – the consultancy created LCP Horizon, a tool that became fully operational during the summer of 2015.
LCP Horizon allows clients running a DC scheme, regardless of their underlying administrator or provider platform, to have unrivalled access to DC analytics about their members and allows trustees and employers to set scheme specific – and member specific – targets for member retirement savings.
It also allows users to monitor a scheme’s investment strategies in real-time and identify segments of members, send them targeted communications and track what action is taken as a result.
LCP Horizon also includes 'nudge' functionality – and gives trustees and employers the facility to send automatic messages to members reminding them, for instance, to review contribution levels on the date of an annual salary increase.
Crucially, LCP Horizon allows trustees to measure the success of their governance, investment and communication strategies.
In addition to developing LCP Horizon, the consultancy has also innovated in how it has helped employers and trustees with DC schemes communicate difficult messages to their scheme by building an online tax modeller for employees that takes account of their scheme's benefit and contribution structure, their personal details, and distils the many moving parts in the tax charge calculation into easy outputs.
Clients using this modeller have greater control of their communication plan and receive fewer questions, allowing valuable resource to be focused where it is needed.
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
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.