The Pensions Regulator’s new code of practice puts pressure on schemes to get member communications right.
The Pensions Regulator’s new code of practice brings together and brushes up various existing codes. The publication puts pressure on schemes to comply more fully with its requirements on member communications.
As with much regulation these days, it’s no longer enough to do the bare minimum and hope for the best. Schemes are expected to take this stuff seriously and have evidence that their communications are appropriate and effective.
So what does the code say, and what do trustees need to be thinking about?
1. Make communications accurate, clear, concise, relevant and in plain English
How can you be sure you’re doing this? Are you asking your members – or just your lawyers?
2. Regularly review member communications, taking account of member feedback
Are you reviewing them? How? Are you gathering feedback from all members or just the ones that contact you?
3. Consider new technology that could work for you and your members
What does ‘new’ mean to you? Email? Or something a bit more 21st century?
4. Consider using various communication methods, including accessible online content
Are your communications accessible to the huge proportion of people with temporary or permanent vulnerabilities?
5. Regularly inform members of the impact their contributions will have on their overall benefits
Are you doing anything on this beyond annual statements?
6. Provide any additional information or explanation that members may need to help them make informed decisions about their benefits
Is it enough to point members to Pension Wise? What about members under 50? Have you asked them what information or explanation they would like?
Get your pension communications ready for the code
We’re helping schemes of all shapes and sizes come up with and implement regulator-happy answers to these questions and more.
Please get in touch with us if you’d like to talk about your pension communication challenges.