Zurich launches online self-service pensions system

Zurich Financial Services has launched an online self-service pensions facility for staff to improve engagement.

The system went live for 7,500 active members of ZPen – the firm’s collective name for its defined contribution and defined benefit pension schemes – last month, and will be rolled out to its 22,000 deferred members this month.

The technology allows members to obtain individual pension quotes, make final benefit selections online, change the amount of tax-free cash they can take as a lump sum at retirement and see the effect it will have on their pension, and calculate their pension benefits if they leave Zurich. Straight-through processing enables staff within 12 months of retirement to set up their pension payment details. It then creates the payroll record for the next available payroll run after their retirement date.

All scheme members have been given personal secure log-in details via email. Since its launch, 20% of active members have registered and logged on to the site.

Gillian Mitchell, Zurich’s head of UK pensions, said: “A lot of providers have modelling tools where a different system takes a cut of data and lets people model quotes. We have taken our existing administration system and developed a method for staff to dive into their personal record and run calculations from their computer at home or at work.”