95% of LV= pension members trust their employer

The majority (95%) of LV= pension members who completed its inaugural pension survey trust their employer to make a difference in their path to retirement.

Speaking at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) conference in Manchester on 17 October, Mike Acred, pensions manager at the insurance firm, said: “I was expecting around 30% or 40%. That’s a very powerful message from our membership.”

LV= conducted the survey, which had around 400 respondents, to follow up with pension members after its auto-enrolment staging date, which was May 2013.

It postponed auto-enrolment by one month to June and enrolled 540 employees into its trust-based defined contribution (DC) pension, increasing the scheme’s membership to 5,400 staff.

The scheme doubles its employees’ contributions, so a minimum staff contribution of 3% receives a 6% employer contribution. The maximum employer contribution is 14%, for employee contributions of 7%.

The survey also asked pension members how often they would like to hear about their pension. More than half (58%) said they received about the right amount of communication, while 41% said they wanted to receive more. Only 1% said they would like to hear about their pension less frequently.

“When you communicate right, people will be hungry for more,” said Acred. “Developing a communications strategy is an evolutionary process. No two schemes will end up with the same strategy.”

LV= had revamped its communications as part of its auto-enrolment process. It introduced an online hub, called Pensions Village, to engage employees with the pension scheme.

The insurance organisation worked with communications firm AHC to create the hub, which contains pensions information in a variety of formats, including interactive navigation, videos, calculators and printable documents.

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Following the survey, more than half of its 400 respondents have volunteered to participate in focus groups to talk about the pension, which Acred considers a good sign of engagement.

He added: “Members now have to lift the bonnet and see what’s inside.”