Smart issued the two-page statement, which uses clear and accessible language to deliver key information, last week via its member portal and app, and is set to follow-up with user testing to establish best practice in ensuring maximum member engagement.
The workplace pension provider is the first master trust to publicly adopt this new approach to annual statements and follows the guidelines developed by auto enrolment review chairman Ruston Smith, who is also a non-executive director at Smart.
Darren Philp, Director or Policy and Communications at Smart Pension, said: “This initiative was led by one of our non-executive directors, Ruston Smith, and is something we are very supportive of. Clear, accessible and effective communications are essential if we are to encourage people to take ownership of their pensions, and the simplified statement is an essential step in the right direction.
“Smart is focused on improving customer experience and using technology to help people with their retirement planning. By also making the two-page statement available via our Smart Pension app, we hope this will encourage people to take an interest in what they are saving.”
The simpler statement is very close to the suggested format produced by the cross-industry working group developing the new statements (which included all the industry trade bodies), and details the amount of money a member has saved into their pension pot to date, the amount added by their employer and the money transferred from other schemes using simple diagrams and clear language. Smart is planning to include a pounds and pence presentation of costs and charges in the next iteration of the statement.
The technology innovator is already working on a mobile-optimised interactive video statement that will deliver real-time pension balance via its member portal and app.
Smart Pension is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, CEO, and Will Wynne, MD, it is one of the UK's largest providers of workplace pensions. Its award-winning master trust is overseen by independent professional trustees. In 2016, Europe’s second largest asset manager Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) took a minority stake in the digital pension platform, part of a move by LGIM to invest in high-achieving, innovative technology that has a positive impact on the wider economy. In January 2019 J.P. Morgan invested as part of a strategic investment round and in November 2019, Link Group, the leading administrator in the Australian superannuation industry, invested as part of strategic partnership.
In 2019 Smart Pension was named DC Master Trust of the Year, DC Innovation of the Year and Retirement Innovation of the Year in the UK Pensions Awards. It was also named European Pension Fund of the Year 2019 in the European Pension Awards.
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