Benefits Guru Workplace Pension Rating 2023
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 commitment to the market. This insight takes a closer look at their propositions and workplace pension ratings.
Dawn Anderson, Head of Workplace Proposition at Aviva, said:
“We are thrilled to once again achieve Gold ratings across all our platforms, recognising our continuous dedication to enhancing our workplace proposition for our members, employers, and advisors.”
Member App & Portal:
Member App & portal: Aviva offer their members a full native app which has all the same features and functionality as the online member portal. The app now has transactional capability, however this not carried out in real time. As expected, both the app and portal allow members to update and change their personal details online. The app also includes a secure messaging functionality. Members can also consolidate their pensions online and via the app and charges are clearly displayed in £/p as well as %’s.
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.
Scheme Setup: Aviva allows quotes to be requested via almost any means, as long as they have the required information. Quotes are instant if done via web, quotes are valid for 3 months. Once a quotation is accepted the Application process can one to three months depending on scheme complexities. Aviva are responsible for setting up the scheme on their systems and the employer is given access to a dedicated contact for any training or support needs.
Restructuring & Transferring Schemes:
Restructuring & Transferring Schemes: Aviva has an automated process for restructuring an existing scheme, this is done utilising the existing scheme and member data. Aviva offers direct offer communications for transfer to members of the existing scheme. There is no minimum pension amount and the majority of transfers are completed using the Origo Standard. The average Bulk transfer in is less than 10 working days, once they have all required infromation from scheme and/or members.
Support Services: 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.
Member communications: 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. They also offer online Annual benefit statements to members, and these show the actual scheme specific annual management charge for all funds selected by the member. The My Money proposition also offers free personalised video pension statements to its members (unlike Aviva Designer).
Financial Resilience: Aviva can use real member data, which is gathered from various tools including their Open Banking technology to help members better manage their day-to-day financial lives. They offer a range of different savings vehicles alongside their pension product and can also create a financial fitness/wellness score. They have a very strong process in place in order to help identify vulnerable customers and have a dedicated team to ensure fair treatment to all. They provide a very good level of generic and personalised financial education to their members and also offer online and face-to-face access to a financial coach or mentor.
Consumer Duty: Aviva has been strong with Communication and Customer Support, with the ability to be able to speak to a trained professional. Aviva has built a vulnerability support flag into their systems. All Aviva employers are obliged to complete vulnerable customer training, and their ‘champions’ have additional training to support their colleagues further. For the investments the majority of their Fair value Assessment, were already business as usual meaning the processes were already in place.
Investment & Fund Options:
Investment & fund options: Aviva offer a wide range of funds on their platform consisting of own, life-styling, multimanager, 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.
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 propositions.
To view the full medals tables, all the awards and the accompanying provider factsheets please visit www.benefitsguru.co.uk/ratings/