AboveNet rejigs group personal pension

Fibre optic network provider AboveNet has switched providers for its group personal pension (GPP), set up a pensions advisory committee and removed the three-month service requirement before staff can join the scheme.

Employees can now join the GPP on their first day at work as the firm’s first step towards complying with auto-enrolment due to be introduced under the 2012 pension reforms.

Kellie Whitham, HR director at AboveNet, said: “We are keen to ensure all employees benefit from having a pension scheme in place. With a relatively young workforce, we find we have to promote the joining of the scheme more than we would with an ageing workforce, so we can see the benefit of auto-enrolment.”

In December 2010, the firm switched GPP providers from Axa to Aviva, and appointed Johnson Fleming to manage the scheme. Reasons for the change included a lower annual management charge of 0.45%, online functionality, and an extensive fund range. Since the change, 77% of AboveNet’s 98 staff have joined the scheme.

The advisory committee was set up to ensure effective governance. It will meet formally once a year to review all aspects of the scheme.

AboveNet has been awarded a Pension Quality Mark (PQM) from the National Association of Pension Funds for its GPP scheme, meeting the required standards in contributions, governance and communications.

Communications for the launch included company-branded CDs containing all scheme information, group presentations, and the opportunity for staff to have individual meetings with Johnson Fleming.

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