EXCLUSIVE: Royal Academy of Arts sees 51% of staff engage with pensions online

Copyright: Fraser Marr

EXCLUSIVE: Royal Academy of Arts has seen 51% of its employees register to view their pension online following the launch of a new pension scheme and workplace savings platform.

The charity launched a group self-invested personal pension (Sipp) and introduced the Corporate Vantage workplace savings platform, provided by Hargreaves Lansdown, in April 2016.

The platform includes access to workplace savings options, such as an individual savings account (Isa) and the Lifetime Isa, in addition to pension investment options, decision-making support, and tailored communications.

The introduction of the new pension plan and platform was designed to help employees at the Royal Academy of Arts make informed decisions about their finances, and to improve pensions administration following auto-enrolment.

More than a fifth (21%) of investments in the group pension plan, which has 244 members, are outside of the default fund.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of members are saving at least 15% of salary into the pension scheme, and three-quarters (76%) are contributing more than their minimum entitlement on entry.

The average contribution rate for employees under the age of 30 is 10%.

Upon the launch of the new scheme, 102 employees attended a group presentation and 56 members of staff attended a one-to-one meeting.

Katherine Montague, HR director at Royal Academy of Arts, said: “Poor administration and low levels of interest in the [workplace] pension triggered our search for a new way of helping our staff save for retirement.

“The launch was really successful. Our staff quickly realised what a good deal we were offering them and many took the opportunity to save more towards their retirement. This is no mean feat given our relatively young workforce.

“Interest in pensions has improved at the same time as the admin niggles have disappeared. All in all, my life is now a lot easier when it comes to managing our pension scheme.”