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What is the charge cap?

The charge cap is a government-set limit. It’s the annual amount that can be charged to savers in default arrangements within defined contribution pension schemes used for auto-enrolment. Default arrangements are the investment fund or funds that an employer or scheme trustee have chosen for members who haven’t actively chosen a fund. The default arrangement for members of The People’s Pension who haven’t made an active choice is the ‘balanced’ investment profile.

The cap has applied since April 2015 and is currently set at 0.75% of funds under management within the default arrangement, or an equivalent combination charge. The cap applies to all scheme administration and investment charges, excluding transaction costs. This means it doesn’t currently include costs that are incurred by the investment manager when assets are bought, sold or lent by the fund.

How will Brexit affect my pension savings?

Brexit isn’t likely to significantly affect UK-based occupational pension schemes like The People’s Pension. This is because UK-based occupational schemes are mainly run according to legislation made by the UK Parliament and regulated by agencies of the UK government. Brexit may, though, be a cause of economic uncertainty and movements in financial markets that may affect pension schemes like The People’s Pension.

After nearly four years of political stalemate, the UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 with a withdrawal deal. There’s a transitional period, during which the UK will observe many of the EU’s rules, that’s scheduled to end on 31 December 2020. The UK government intends to agree a trade deal during this time with the remaining 27-member states. It’s possible that the UK will exit the transition period without a trade deal, but we believe this isn’t likely to be as disruptive as leaving with no withdrawal agreement in place.

Events like Brexit will influence financial markets and therefore the value of the assets held by The People’s Pension. All financial assets carry some degree of risk, and at The People’s Pension we’ve invested in a diverse portfolio of assets. We invest across the world on behalf of our members, not just in the UK. This should limit the impact of events like Brexit on our members’ pension savings.

Your pension pot is held under trust in a separate legal entity and this keeps your money secure.  For more information on how your savings are protected see security of your savings.

We’ll be monitoring the situation as it develops and will base our decisions on research and evidence, as we aim to meet our members’ long-term investment objectives.

You can monitor how the investment fund(s) your pension pot is invested in are performing or check our daily unit prices.

If you’re planning to access your pension savings in the near future, you should take extra care. Choosing what to do with your pension savings is an important decision – consider getting some guidance or advice. Visit Pension Wise, a free and impartial government service, for online, face-to-face or telephone guidance. You can also speak to an adviser. If you don’t already have an adviser, you can find one on the Unbiased website. Please note an adviser may charge for their advice.

We’ve teamed up with LV= to provide our members with access to personalised, regulated financial advice.

Please note LV=’s telephone advice service is a paid-for service. They’ll explain to you the cost of this service before offering you advice.

What is master trust authorisation?

Master trust authorisation is overseen by The Pensions Regulator. It will help ensure that master trust pension schemes (like The People’s Pension) continue to run in the best interests of their members. To become authorised, master trusts needed to show that their scheme met the 5 criteria laid out in legislation:

  1. demonstrating the people running their scheme were fit and proper
  2. the master trust was financially sustainable
  3. the funder of the scheme could support it
  4. the master trust had adequate systems and processes in place
  5. a continuity strategy had been prepared.

We lobbied and supported the government’s decision to introduce an authorisation process for all master trusts operating in the UK pensions market. And in August 2019, The People’s Pension was granted master trust authorisation from The Pensions Regulator.

We firmly believe this is an effective way to help ensure that all master trusts are properly run and well governed.

 

How does The People’s Pension protect me from pension scams?

At The People’s Pension, we do our best to make our members aware of pension scams.

Pension scams can come in different forms from scams to trick you into transferring your pension savings into fake schemes, to phishing to get hold of your personal details.

Below are examples of pension scam tactics that could alert you that you may be dealing with a fraudster:

  • Contacting you out of the blue
  • Offering free pension reviews and one-off investment opportunities with ‘guaranteed returns’
  • Offering you cash upfront
  • Offering a quick transfer of money over to the new scheme
  • Claiming you can access your pension pot before the age of 55 (57 from 2028)
  • Providing no documents to confirm the business you’re transacting

It’s good to note that a professional looking website and convincing marketing material doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not dealing with a fraudster.

Fraudsters may try to get your details by email, letters through the post, instant or text messages and cold calls.

Ban on cold calls: To help prevent pension savers falling victim to pension scams, the government have passed a ‘pensions cold-calling ban’ to ensure any company who attempts to make unsolicited calls about your pension could be fined.

We support the government in helping savers avoid pension scams, by making you aware of pension scams in our communications and pointing you in the direction of further help from government-backed bodies.

Who to contact if you’re worried about pension scams

You can ask Citizens Advice, the Single Financial Guidance Body or the police for help and advice about scammers.

If you’ve already been approached and signed a contract, contact your provider immediately and call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

You can discover more on how to avoid pension scams on our website.

Or you can also find more about how to protect yourself from pension scams on The Pensions Regulator’s website.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is the new data protection legislation replacing the Data Protection Act 1998.

It’s a European Union regulation which aims to give people more control over how their personal data is collected, used, stored and shared. It’s designed to strengthen and unify the data security measures of businesses in the European Union.

B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, already makes sure that data protection is central to our business. Under GDPR, we’re more transparent about how we collect, use, share and store our customers’ (and employees’) data.

GDPR came into force (after a two-year transition period) on 25 May 2018.

If you’re a business and you need help preparing for GDPR, see The Information Commissioner’s website »

Or if you’re a member, there’s some handy information from the European Union »

What does GDPR cover?

GDPR gives our customers more freedom to control the data we hold about them. They have a right to:

  •  Be informed
  •  Be forgotten
  •  Object to data being held or processed
  •  Correct the information held about them
  •  Portability of their data

But, what does this really mean?

Be informed.

It’s all about transparency. We’ll tell you who in the organisation is the data controller and give you their contact details. This is the person responsible for ensuring data is used and stored correctly.

Our customers have a right to be told about what data we hold on them, how their data is used, why it’s used and who it’s shared with.

Be forgotten.

Our customers have the right to ask for their data to be deleted. But, we may not always be able to do this when we’re required by law to keep information for a certain period of time.

Object.

Our customers can object to their data being used for certain purposes or processed in a certain way. This could be, for example, objecting to direct marketing. It’s not always possible for us to follow an individual’s request though – especially where we have a legal obligation.

Correct.

If we hold inaccurate information about a customer, they have a right to request it’s updated.

Portability.

Our customers have the right to ask for their data in a portable format so that it could be transferred to another organisation.

If you’re a business and you need help preparing for GDPR, see The Information Commissioner’s website »

Or if you’re a member, there’s some handy information from the European Union »

What’s a data controller and data processor?

A data processor is anyone (other than an employee of the data controller) that processes personal data on behalf of the data controller.

A data controller controls how and why personal data is processed. B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, is a data controller in its own right. As joint data controllers, both B&CE and the employer have full responsibility for the compliance and accountability of the data collected and used.

For more information on definitions, see The Information Commissioner’s website »

As a customer of B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, does my business need to do anything about the employee data we provide?

Once you’ve provided us with your employee data, B&CE also becomes responsible for ensuring this data is compliant with GDPR. We become joint ‘data controllers’ (see What’s a data controller and data processor? for more info).

You’ll still remain responsible for your employee data in terms of their employment with you. B&CE, along with the Trustees of The People’s Pension, will become responsible for how that data is protected in relation to your pension scheme.

Lots of businesses, especially the smaller ones, are struggling with what GDPR means for them.

There is a common misunderstanding that B&CE is a ‘data processor’ for employers using The People’s Pension. But actually, B&CE is a data controller in its own right. As joint data controllers, both B&CE and the employer have full responsibility for the compliance and accountability of the data collected and used. This means that you don’t need to set up a controller/processor agreement with us in relation to the employee data you provide us.

To help us, please make sure that the employee data you provide is accurate and up-to-date.

How do B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, look after our data?

We recently updated our Privacy notice and will be sending this to all our customers. Both you and your employees will receive a copy. It explains all you need to know about how we capture, process, store and dispose of data. You can also take a look at this on our website »

B&CE has robust cyber security measures in place, which we regularly review to keep up-to-date with current cyber security threats. Our systems and procedures follow UK, EU and globally accepted standards. The information we collect from our customers is stored on secure servers based both in the UK and the EU. If you’d like more information on this, take a look at pages 39 and 40 of our AAF Assurance Report »

If you’re a business and you need help preparing for GDPR, see The Information Commissioner’s website »

Or if you’re a member, there’s some handy information from the European Union »

As all businesses need to use data in different ways, you should seek your own independent advice.