by Patrick Heath-Lay |

Each year we produce an annual report for The People’s Pension. While quite lengthy, it’s necessary and important because it provides key information about our business model, scheme activity and growth.

In recent years, to complement this key document, we’ve been running Trustee webinars – you may have heard of them or attended one in the past (virtually, of course). These free, live online events provide our members, their employers and advisers with a unique opportunity to put their questions to the people that make up the body responsible for running the Scheme – our Trustee.

This year we made the decision to run them with members of our Senior Leadership team (including me) as well, while retaining the critical presence of our Trustee.

However, the coronavirus pandemic stalled our plans and we made the decision to put the live events on hold back in March.

We geared up and began recording…

I’m proud to say that we’re now back on track and recordings of this event are available on our ‘Recorded online event’ webpage – there’s one for members and one for both employers and advisers. I believe that recording this event is the next best alternative as we embrace new ways of working and meet the challenges of COVID-19. A lot of hard work has gone into creating this and I thank everyone who’s been involved.

What hasn’t changed about this event is the format – it’s essentially a Q&A session and the topics we discuss are led by what members, employers and advisers told us they wanted to hear about.

Big topics up for discussion

We talk about the size and scale of The People’s Pension and building for the future. Our new charging structure is a key feature of our discussions – we describe how it works, and its aim. And Steve Delo, Chair of the Trustee, explains why the Trustee believes it’s a great advancement.

Investment, the impact of COVID-19 and how the Scheme is structured to respond to situations like the pandemic is discussed in detail. Brexit is brought into the mix too. Diversification – the point about not putting our eggs all in one basket – is key here and so too how pensions are for the long term.

Responsible investment and climate change are big topics at the moment, and we recognise the importance of reflecting the views of our members; so, we ask them for their views in our responsible investment survey. We touch on this during the recordings.

We reflect throughout our discussions on the pensions industry as a whole. In particular we look at master trust authorisation – the Scheme’s success in this regard and, in our employer and adviser recording, we explain how we see the environment changing for smaller DC trusts.

Saving for later life

Steve, a great advocate of workplace pension saving, talks about the importance of saving as much as you can, as early as you can, for later life. And together we flag some of the things that people might miss out if they don’t save into a workplace pension including employer contributions and tax relief (to name but a few).

There’s some signposting in the videos to free impartial government services like Pension Wise and the importance of being alert to scams – that phrase ‘if it seems too good to be true, chances are, it is’ has become more important than ever in the current climate.

Keeping things simple

Our ethos at The People’s Pension is to keep things simple and support our members, employers and advisers in an appropriate and efficient way. So, payroll integration comes up along with tools for advisers. We also touch on the resources we offer employers like our communications toolkit and spend some time explaining re-enrolment with one of the key messages at the moment being to tell employees you’re re-enrolling them.

For members we explain how they can take control of their money using their Online Account and how to get set up (if they haven’t already done so).

About our next online event

We’re already planning our next online event to update you on The People’s Pension and will have more to say on this in early 2021.

Watch our recordings

Visit our ‘Recorded online event’ webpage and choose from the member, employer or adviser audience icons to start watching.