As Chair of Aegon UK’s Master Trust, my job is to ensure that Aegon is offering the right support and enhancing the member experience wherever possible.
Here I outline a few of what we, the trustees, feel are both key initiatives and areas to highlight to you from the last quarter.
Aegon Master Trust Chair’s Statement
We were pleased to release our annual Aegon Master Trust Chair’s Statement for the Scheme year ending 31 March 2023. The update gives an overview of activities within the Master Trust and the role that we, the trustees carried out. This includes key milestones and developments, investment arrangements, costs and charges, value for members, service and member feedback.
The Chair’s Statement can be accessed on this link: Chair’s Statement on Defined Contribution Governance.
Staying prepared with continuity measures
Continuity and resilience are extremely important to any company. The pandemic was a key example of how business practices require robust plans to adapt quickly to provide uninterrupted levels of service to customers. We meet regularly with colleagues at Aegon to discuss preparedness for unexpected disruption events – be it pandemics, severe weather warnings, cyber threats and other circumstances. Scenario testing is part of this process, which we discussed recently with Aegon’s customer service team in Peterborough.
On a more personal level of cyber security, it’s worth noting Aegon’s online security and fraud protection hub has a range of links and support you can share with your employees. This includes tips on how to spot a scam, store personal information and keep devices secure.
New legislation on the horizon
We welcome any updates to legislation or regulations that are designed to secure the best possible outcomes for our scheme members. The Treasury, DWP and FCA have published a number of consultations connected to the Government’s drive to have Defined Contribution (DC) schemes invest more in UK private equity.
Collectively, this is known as the ‘Mansion House Pension Reforms’. It plans to improve on issues such as underperforming DC schemes and small, deferred pension pots of up to £1,000. With the suggestion that Master Trusts may play a significant role in these reforms, we make sure to stay updated as new details emerge.
We were also pleased to see that Aegon was a founding member of the Mansion House Compact agreement – a voluntary, industry-led expression of intent to take meaningful action to support the goal of achieving better outcomes for UK pension savers.
Positive feedback in communications and engagement
Communication is pivotal to inspire Master Trust members to positively engage with their pensions. With the recent Consumer Duty measures further defining the importance of good communication, we review this approach regularly with Aegon.
We’re pleased to see that some recent improvements have already enhanced the experience for our members. Digital improvements in functionality have led to an increase in the number of members completing their Expression of wish forms online.
We continue to work closely with Aegon to help overcome the barriers to pensions engagement.
Your feedback is important to us
We, the trustees, are always keen to hear your, and your members’ feedback and views on the scheme. We’d encourage you to get in touch with us directly by email on email@example.com to let us know your thoughts.
As a reminder and to keep your information secure, if contacting us by email, please don’t include any personal, financial, or banking information as email isn’t a secure method of communication. If you decide to send information in this way, you’re doing so at your own risk as there’s no guarantee that any email sent by you to us will be received or remain private during transmission. Where secure journeys are available, please login to complete these.