Telent engages staff with pensions via default investment strategy

Technology service organisation Telent engaged its 1,600 employees with pensions and savings through its default investment strategy.


Since it was introduced in April 2013, its contract-based defined contribution (DC) scheme has achieved 95% take-up. Telent closed its defined benefit (DB) pension to new members in 2007 and to future accrual in 2012.

Telent closed its defined benefit (DB) pension to new members in 2007 and to future accrual in 2012.

Additionally, 95% of Telent staff are also in the default investment fund.

Pete Harris, director of pensions at Telent, explains that the organisation set clear objectives for its default investment strategy: “We knew we’d get high take-up with such a required product, and wanted to implement something useful for our people.”

“In setting up the strategy originally, we were aware that a lot of staff would be used to having DB pensions and not have the skillset to manage a DC pension. We  aimed to provide something that would get people to the right place using general terms. We therefore chose a fairly standard lifestyle profile.

“In 2013, we were aware that employees were making less choice for themselves than even we had anticipated.”

Telent opted for the Standard Life Strategic Active Lifestyle Profile III for its default investment strategy. Harris says: “It gives access to a wider investment universe, and to active fund management skill, and risk is actively managed. It can be modified as legislation changes, which has been very beneficial with the arrival of freedom and choice.”

In terms of how Telent highlighted the strategy to staff, Harris says: “I’m a firm believer in face-to-face communication, and feel it’s best to constantly remind employees what is offered to them.”

Telent held roadshows, in conjunction with Standard Life, to communicate the scheme to staff at its office locations, including Basildon, Camberley and Warwick, in April 2013, and in September 2013 when staff were auto-enrolled.