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First Retirement Living Standard Awards winners named

The three winners of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s (PLSA) first Retirement Living Standards Awards have been named at this year’s Annual Conference.

Following a robust judging of each entry, three pension companies have been selected to win the prestigious prize for their work to ensure the Standards are accessible to as many savers as possible.

Entries were judged on the following categories, with awards for each:

  • Saver engagement, separately judged for schemes and providers – for entries judged to have communicated the standards most effectively through aspects such as ease of use, simplicity of message, visual representation, personalisation and demonstrated comprehension.
  • FinTech/Innovation – for the entry which most impresses the judges for its use of technology to integrate the standards into tools, calculators or personalise income targets.

The winners are:

Saver Engagement: Scheme

  • Railpen – They integrated the Retirement Living Standards through multi-channel member- friendly engagement campaigns in both text and visual formats, and a new easy-to-use online budget calculator tool which supports members through a personalised and tangible target they can use to assess whether their savings are on track.

Saver Engagement: Provider

  • Standard Life – Retirement Living Standards are now a design principle at Standard Life, which in practice means they are embedded in annual benefit statements and Retirement Income Tool, as well as a new Client Analytics tool to help employers understand what standards their employees are on track for and in the new default investment solution.

FinTech / Innovation

  • Legal and General – They created a range of support that incorporates the standards. These include personalised video pension statements, a unique virtual reality experience for clients, digital content including a smartphone app, campaign materials and a retirement planner.

The judges selected the three winners from a shortlist of pension companies. When selecting the winners all the judges felt that RailPen gave clear examples of good practice of multi-stage integration by a scheme and were also highly commended for the value clearly placed on making the information as understandable and accessible as possible for members.

Standard Life were congratulated by the judges for simple messaging for savers, and excellent evidence of the benefits of the use of the standards. Their entry was praised particularly for their client analytics tool which was felt to be potentially very powerful in the future.

Legal & General impressed the judges with their virtual reality experience, and the real time access to Retirement Living Standard aligned information throughout multiple tools, including within apps and webpages. Judges also noted evidence of extending beyond into personalisation, such as other expenses, and the impressive evidence of further action by savers.

Rob Hughes, Head of Customer Experience, Railpen, said: “Railpen is delighted to have won the Saver Engagement Award. Supporting members in achieving better retirement outcomes is a priority for the Trustee of the railway pension schemes. As one of the UK’s largest pension schemes, we have fully supported the PLSA in promoting the Retirement Living Standards as an industry benchmark for target incomes in retirement. Through our online guidance tools and content, we can use the Retirement Living Standards to help members understand what they may need to aim for and allow them to plan and save more effectively.”

Donna Walsh, Head of Workplace Deployment and Bid Management, Standard Life, said: “We’re delighted to win Saver Engagement (Provider) at the PLSA RLS awards. Standard Life is a friend and advocate of the standards and we’ll keep looking at opportunities and customer touchpoints to incorporate these.”

Stuart Murphy, Co-Head of DC, Legal and General, said: “We’re delighted to have won the Fintech/Innovation category at the PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards awards. This is a great recognition of the hard work by our DC teams to integrate the retirement living standards throughout our members’ savings and retirement journey. This includes designing a simple-to-use online calculator that incorporates the PLSA’s living standards to help DC members more easily work out their retirement needs and the launch of our virtual reality experience.”

Julian Mund, Chief Executive, PLSA concluded: “I’d like to congratulate each of these pension companies for winning the PLSA’s first ever Retirement Living Standard Awards. Each of the winners has shown true dedication to ensuring the Standards are used in thought-provoking and innovative ways to ensure savers have the best access possible to them.

“We must now continue to work with all adopters and Friends of the Retirement Living Standards – as well as those who have yet to adopt them – following our updates to the Standards which help ensure they remain relevant for an ever-changing world.”

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