Last week we published the first installment of a two-part insight exploring the process’s providers have in place to identify and address vulnerable customers. Today we continue to explore the various approaches providers have adopted, focusing on what training, support and additional services are available.
Our data shows all workplace pension providers train their frontline staff on how to identify vulnerable customers. Most do this through a combination of face-to-face and online training. Fidelity and Scottish Widows conduct all their training online.
Most providers have told us that they carry out their training on an annual basis, however, Legal & General, Royal London and Standard Life have chosen to carry out theirs on a quarterly basis.
For the most part workplace pension providers also provide external support and/or signposting to third parties for help and guidance. The only provider who currently does not is Cushon. Mercer Master Trust have said that they do but have not provided any additional information.
Three quarters of providers have also stated that they have partnered with various charities or support groups. Those who currently do not are Cushon, Fidelity and Mercer Master.
When it comes to further services and support workplace pension providers offer tool kits of services and support as well as dedicated webpages and portals for vulnerable clients.
Two third of providers have also confirmed that they offer a ‘tool kit’ of services and support. The only two providers who currently do not are Aviva and Mercer Master Trust.
We also found that only a third of workplace pension providers do not offer vulnerable customers dedicated webpages or areas in the member app/portal. The providers who do not are Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown Legal & General. However, Aviva are in the process of designing online support materials for customers in vulnerable situations.
Only a few workplace pension providers also have and/or publish vulnerable client case studies. The providers who do are Royal London, Fidelity and Standard Life.
Other than Mercer Master Trust, all workplace pension providers also measure the wellbeing of their own team to ensure they are capable of doing their roles.
Overall, our data shows that workplace pension providers already have a very broad range of measures in place to help make sure they are meeting the needs of vulnerable customers.
Unfortunately, with the cost-of-living crisis affecting more and more people each month, the number of vulnerable customers in the UK in likely to increase. We are delighted to see that providers in our research are taking such positive steps to ensure that they are supporting their members the best they can.