The second instalment of this insight looks at what data and information members can view and access via their workplace pension portals, as well as what transactional functionality is available. We are pleased to say that the picture for most providers is now very comprehensive.
Members accessing the portals for all workplace providers are able to see basic data such as their policy number, current fund value, details of the last 12 months contribution history, the current fund investment choice (in both units held and unit price) and fund fact sheets for the asset allocation. This should be deemed as almost a hygiene factor now as should be a minimum requirement for all.
Other than for Hargreaves Lansdown, all other provider member portals also all display the members selected retirement age, an estimated/projected fund value at retirement, estimated/projected annual pension at retirement, and current monthly employer contributions. Again, we would really expect this data to be a basic requirement.
Other than for Royal London, all online member portals can also show the current plan charges. Most show these as either a percentage value or as a monetary value, but Aegon Master Trust, Aegon Workplace ARC, Cushon, Standard Life, Standard Life DC Master Trust and True Potential display both, which should make understanding charges a little easier for the member.
Currently, monthly employee contributions are shows by all provider portals other than Hargreaves Lansdown and Standard Life DC Master Trust.
The current monthly estimated amount applied in tax relief is shown by over half of provider member portals. Those who do not display this information are Hargreaves Lansdown, Legal & General, Legal & General Master Trust, Mercer Master Trust Scottish Widows, Royal London and Scottish Widows GPP.
The display of risk levels is the least often displayed metric. The portals from Hargreaves Lansdown, Mercer Master Trust Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows GPP, Scottish Widows GSIPP and Scottish Widows Master Trust do not show a risk level for chosen investment funds.
In terms of the functionality for making changes, we are pleased to see that our data shows that all workplace pension providers now offer transactional member portals.
Any changes made are also instant for most providers as 86% of member portals carry out transactions in real time. Those who do not make changes in real time are Aviva Designer, Aviva My Money and Aviva My Money Master Trust, as in certain circumstances users must go through additional identity checks before actions are carried out.
However, when it comes to what changes can be made, the picture is less universal. The only changes that can be made on all member portals are change/update retirement date, fund switches and updating address details.
However, most providers will allow portal users to update beneficiaries, transfer another pension in, update telephone details and update an email address.
The widest range of possible changes are offered by Aegon Master Trust, Aegon Workplace ARC, Aviva Designer, Aviva My Money, Aviva My Money Master Trust, Cushon, Mercer Master Trust Aviva, Standard Life and Standard Life DC Master Trust, whose members can carry out all the actions
With more consumers looking to move to paperless records, most member portals will also allow the member to set their preferences via the portal. Only the portals from Mercer Master Trust Scottish Widows GPP, Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows GSIPP and Scottish Widows Master Trust do not facilitate this.
It is encouraging to see that members can also use the portal to model different retirement outcomes. This includes retirement planning tools for all providers other than True Potential.
Overall, our data shows that online member portals offer a broad range of functionality with most enabling at least basic changes and in real time.