Our viewpoint

It’s good
to talk – the importance of quality administrators

When it comes to running a successful pension scheme, there is understandably much focus on funding and investment.  But for members their touchpoint is with the administration service.

Dramatic sounding headlines on the front pages of the newspapers and the availability of online materials has meant that members are increasingly engaged with pensions as a topic.  People are keen to know what’s happening to the funds they’ve saved over the years, and what they can now do with them.

So what do they need when they pick up the phone to their scheme’s administrator?

Someone they can actually speak to

There is nothing more frustrating than picking up the phone and having to work your way through various menus before you can get to speak to someone, who often turns out not to be the right person.  You need to be able to get straight through to an administrator who is going to be able to help you.

Someone with the right knowledge

There is a lot of information out there, a lot of scary headlines, and pensions are a very technical business. Members need to speak to someone who knows not only how pensions work, but how their scheme works too. A tick box approach doesn’t work when schemes differ in many, and often subtle, ways.

Someone who can explain things well

Members need to understand the options available to them – these are often complex and some could have a significant financial impact. Administrators are not advisers, but they need to have the ability to explain complex matters as simply as possible to members who will likely be non-experts.

Technology is undoubtedly playing a bigger – and important – part in pensions administration.  But high-quality people, with both specialist knowledge and quality communication skills, remain crucial to the successful running of a scheme.