Congratulations to Aviva for achieving SIX overall GOLD awards in this year’s Workplace Pension and Auto-Enrolment ratings.
Yet again Aviva gained overall gold awards for their Designer, My Money and My Money Master Trust propositions, demonstrating the strength of their products and commit to the market. This insight takes a closer look at their propositions and workplace pension ratings.
Suzanne Rose, Head of Workplace Pensions at Aviva said;
“We are delighted to receive a Gold rating from Benefits Guru for our Workplace Savings and Retirement proposition. We continue to invest in developing our service to better support members, clients and advisers to achieve the best possible retirement – and it’s fantastic to see this recognised by Benefit Guru”
Aviva offer very good support services to both the adviser and employer, which includes an implementation hub/portal to assist with the implementation process and will track all the steps required in order to set the new scheme up. This includes dedicated teams to support scheme set up, transfers, new joiners and leavers. They offer call centre, web-based and online services. Aviva offer full training to all parties and the system implementation process takes less than 1 month which is monitored by a dedicated account manager.
Record keeping & governance:
Aviva have established an administrative committee to oversee their governance, which contains an independent chairman and representatives. They monitor the performance of funds in line with their objectives on a quarterly basis looking in detail at fund performance, volatility, external research, error tracking, fund liquidity and charges. Aviva also carry out qualitative research on fund managers and will communicate to members and advisers any changes that will impact an investment.
Online Member Services:
Aviva offer their members a full native app which has all the same features and functionality as the online member portal. The app does not yet have any transactional capability, however the member portal does.
Aviva offer free online switching 24/7 without the clients’ signature, along with a bulk member switching facility and the ability for all members to update and change their personal details online
IT Resilience and Continuity:
Aviva have very good processes and procedures in place in respect of IT security, provisioning, continuity and resilience. Aviva have all the right processes in place to ensure that in the case of an IT disaster there will be minimum impact on their staff and members. They use a secure method for sending and receiving all emails as well Document Rights Management software.
Investment & fund options:
Aviva offer a wide range of funds on their platform consisting of own, life-styling, multi-manager, fund of funds, ethical, ESG and guided funds. They have a range of default investment options, the core default fund being the MY Future Focus, which is specifically designed for different target markets and can be customised by advisers. This includes the name and asset allocation through to customised factsheets. In the past 12 months Aviva designed their default fund offering.
Auto Enrolment process:
Aviva will provide all relevant member communications, have no restrictions in terms of staff turnover and have automated systems in place to monitor employee earnings and enrol them once they meet the AE contribution threshold. Their systems will handle multiple payrolls, staging dates and all pay frequencies as well as having CSV integration with a wide range of payroll providers (including Sage, Iress and Xero). In under 1 hour their system is capable of processing over 5000 employee records. They offer a range of reports and services to assist the employer and adviser with certification, scheme assessment and compliance.
At Retirement Options:
Aviva offer full at retirement support and provide a lifetime annuity, impaired life annuity and flexible drawdown products, which can facilitate adviser charging and UFPLS payments. They also provide an online retirement planning tool. Wake up packs are issued one month before turning 50 including details of different retirement options, different ways to take retirement income, total fund value, and an explicit explanation of the open market option. Aviva do not currently support any form of digital retirement advice.
Aviva will provide all the required member communications at no additional cost. Aviva’s system will generate auto-enrolment communications and they offer a range of worksite literature. Communications are provided in accessible formats such as large print and braille if required. The My Money proposition offers online TRS and Annual benefit statements. Aviva can also support voice activated software along with pensions values and video pension statements (Designer cannot not) for their members, although some services do incur an additional cost.
Aviva offer a range of financial wellness functionality as part of their proposition which can be accessed through a various devices including mobile, tablet and wearable devices. Aviva offer a savings goal manager, smart spending tools and debt management tools. Aviva’s proposition includes access to an Employee Assistance Programme that offers support with financial issues, legal issues, childcare, elderly care, debt support, relationship advice and retirement planning. They do not currently have any micro savings or emergency cash fund functionality and do not yet have Open Banking as part of their offering.
Product offering & administration:
The Aviva Designer proposition is hosted on the Unisure platform and will currently accept schemes online and offline, with some restrictions to the number of lives applicable to their online journey only. They are also willing to accept transfers into new schemes, again with no restrictions (although these cannot be transacted online). The Designer proposition does not not currently provide access to a workplace ISA or GIA (unlike the My Money offerings)
The Aviva My Money propositions are hosted on the FNZ platform and currently has an open door policy and will accept any scheme regardless of the number of member or contribution levels. They are also willing to accept transfers into new schemes, again with no restrictions and in addition to pensions they can offer an ISA and a GIA products to their members
Our annual ratings are designed to assist advisers, providers and employers in their decision-making process and highlight which providers have the greatest strengths in different areas of their pension’s propositions.
To view the full medals tables, all the awards and the accompanying provider factsheets please visit www.benefitsguru.co.uk/ratings/