For many new employees a defined contribution (DC) scheme will be the first pension scheme they join and then remain in whilst working.

If you offer a defined benefit (DB) scheme, for some members the cost of joining this may be prohibitive.  The DC scheme will therefore continue to grow in future years so ensuring that it is fit for purpose with strong governance and clear communications is vital.  Ideally the DC scheme structure should match your culture and values, and be established to genuinely help employees retire and manage your corporate risks.

We are ideally positioned to provide expert, tailored support in helping you set a strategic approach to your current DC pension arrangement, considering your options for the future and evaluating governance and engagement.

  • analytical approach to understand your corporate risk and membership needs
  • improving member outcomes at core
  • bring knowledge, experience and market expertise
  • assisting in the delivery of governance objectives and best practice
  • simple 4-step process by age cohort: stay in - pay in - shape - access
  • targeted engagement, based on analytical approach
  • technology solution, where needed
  • work in tandem with the DC provider
  • strong, independent relationship with leading DC providers
  • provider due diligence programme
  • DC technical research
  • flexible support from over 40 DC specialists

Our governance reviews are designed to highlight all of the key information about the scheme and draw attention to issues that might require action.

Our reviews pay particular attention to the areas that we believe are key to good governance:

  • membership characteristics
  • amount and timing of contributions
  • investment choices and fund performance
  • scheme structure
  • provider performance
  • legislative developments and regulatory compliance

With the pensions environment constantly changing, we need to be responsive and innovative for our clients.  Two major forces are at play in the workplace savings space.   Firstly, the introduction of 'Pension Freedom' from April 2015, and secondly the introduction of DC quality and governance standards.

Combined, they leave both employers/trustees and employees with new challenges:

  • demonstrating how well they understand the nature of their workforce
  • understanding what freedom may mean to them over the longer term, rather than cashing out and spending the money immediately

In March 2015 we launched GEM, our analytical tool which helps both corporate and trustee clients to get to grips with understanding their workforces.  GEM aligns with our three main pillars of DC pension provision:

  • investment framework
  • employee engagement
  • governance structure

Use of our GEM tool would identify the key cohorts of your employees and help you assess the make-up of the workforce based on various factors, such as age, affluence, location, job type and membership status.

As well as identifying the various cohorts of the employees, GEM would provide forecasts of members’ benefits, benchmarks of contribution rates and much more.  All of the information provided can support the decisions around the pension vehicle to use, the design of an appropriate investment framework, as well as help shape your thoughts on an effective engagement and governance strategies.

To empower members to help themselves, we launched Me2 in September 2015.  Me2 is our employee-facing online platform.  It can deliver key messages around saving for later life and focusing on the new retirement options.

In line with GEM, Me2 delivers a user experience based on the individual’s age group, and takes them through education pieces and interactive tools relevant to their life stage.

In particular, we are able to use Me2 in conjunction with pension change projects.  This allows members to see how any pension’s change might affect them individually with respect to their specific circumstances.

Members can also see all of their benefits (DB, DC, and existing pensions from previous employment) in one place, what they might look like in the future and how contribution and retirement date changes could have an impact on their ultimate benefits.

This also allows individuals to understand the impact of the new retirement flexibilities so members can start to understand some of the potential benefits of moving to a DC plan arrangement, should you be considering making this change.

Engagement should lead to members taking positive action in relation to their pension plans and wider benefits/reward package, and to increasing general engagement with you as the employer.

We work with our clients (employers, trustees, governance groups) to build an effective engagement strategy: one that has to be engaging, consistent and results driven.  However, in order to do this we cannot treat everyone the same and it is good to understand the different cohorts of employees that exist within a business.

We run surveys and use our analytical tools to help us with this and we can then identify potential risk areas and employee ‘types’ (which in turn helps us around tone, format, delivery method etc).

We have helped clients communicate, educate and engage with members across all pension arrangements, including wider financial awareness, as well as wellbeing in the workplace and choice within the rewards package.

Our online tool, Me2, helps us deliver all of this to the individual themselves but we also produce and design a range of other material.

Further details of our DC consulting services can be found here.

  • branded webinars on hot topics
  • booklets, leaflets, announcements, posters and deskdrops
  • newsletters and information packs
  • personalised benefit statements
  • personalised Total Reward Statements
  • targeted employee presentations and one to one sessions

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