Your pension scheme during Covid-19
Barnett Waddingham is continuing to provide you with key critical services
The current worldwide coronavirus pandemic is creating a great deal of uncertainty and concern for all of us. Barnett Waddingham will continue to monitor official Government guidance to protect our staff and ensure we can continue to provide pension administration services to our clients and you the members. Our number one priority is to make sure we can help pension scheme members and deliver key critical services such as making sure pensioners get paid on time.
Our staff can all work remotely at home if they are unable to come into the office and, indeed, in line with latest Government advice, most of our staff are currently doing this. At present, we have a handful of key and essential team members who are back in the office full time, with overall occupancy levels at around 30% on any given day to maintain safe social distancing levels. All our staff have encrypted laptops, headsets and chargers and so are able to answer member queries and check in with work colleagues as if they were in the office. All our team members therefore remain contactable by phone or email in the usual way.
So for Barnett Waddingham it continues to be ‘business as usual’ as far as possible but we continue to monitor the situation closely. Should things change we have back up plans in place, but rest assured we will be on hand to help. Please do check our Covid-19 updates for further details.
If you are registered for online services then please do log into your BWebstream account to check on your own information. This will also help to free up our teams so they can deal with critical and urgent tasks.
Thank you for your co-operation. If you have any specific questions please get in touch via your usual Barnett Waddingham contact.
We have seen an increase of
in retirements processed during the first months of lockdown
And an increase of
in transfer payments made during this same period.
Due to current circumstances, our team are also supporting an increased number of families with the loss of their loved ones but continuing to do so throughout the change in working circumstances. We have seen an approximately 30% increase in cases related to member deaths between February and August 2020.
We have seen an increase of
in general member queries.
As the situation has persisted, a number of our members are reviewing their benefits and options or have been concerned about their finances. We are continuing to support all members through this situation.
With the rise in queries, we have received twice as many instances of positive feedback received from members during lockdown compared to the previous three months. Member’s particularly highlighted the ease of contacting our administration team and how helpful the team were during stressful times.
As of 1 August 2020, we have completed and launched
schemes since the start of the first lockdown, meeting all our pre-existing agreed deadlines with clients.
As of 1 August, we have progressed or completed
large-scale projects to support our clients and their priorities since 23 March.
Our large-scale projects include GMP reconciliation and rectification exercises, benefit rectification exercises and bulk annuity transactions.
Meanwhile, the number of members with access to our online portal doubled during the first few weeks of lockdown as more schemes moved towards online access and as we allowed members to provide documentation in a secure, digital way. Changes in our day-to-day operations have had no impact on the high-level of data security and internal controls to which we adhere or to any of our wider performance measures.
Across the board, we have seen neither any discernible change to the levels of DC contributions employers are making nor any notable increase in the number of members opting out of schemes we administer owing to financial concerns. We have seen neither employers amending contribution rates in response to the situation nor any increase in late payment of contributions during the first six months of lockdown.