So, I was intrigued when the opportunity came up to join B&CE – provider of the largest independent UK master trust, and a leading financial services profit-for-people organisation.
Building financial foundations for life
I found the idea of focusing on doing what’s right for members, with no need to satisfy shareholder investors, an exciting and liberating prospect. I wanted to join an organisation where our combined efforts could help make a difference to millions of UK savers.
B&CE’s vision of being a different financial services business made a lot of sense to me.
Using profits to help people
So, how do B&CE go about providing value for money and investment options for 1 in 6 adults and still generate enough profit to directly benefit its members?
Well, as we don’t have to pay shareholders, we can put profits to good use supporting our members.
Here are some examples of how we’ve done this:
- Closing legacy pensions products
We moved members from older more expensive legacy pensions products into our better-performing and cheaper master trust – we chose to fund the move on their behalf for their benefit.
- A new charging structure
Last year we introduced a rebate on our management charge and we’re now returning c.£1mn to members in reduced charges every month – a figure that’ll increase substantially the more members save. We believe this is the right thing to do as it incentivises people to save more for their future.
People have entrusted all pension providers with protecting their hard-earned money and that doesn’t only mean keeping it safe, it means making sure charges are fair and proportionate and good returns are generated. A big part of delivering that sits with good financial control and making sure that monies are available at the right time to fuel growth and provide products and services customers need now, and will need in their future.
Grow and protect our members’ money
We need to ensure the business remains financially strong and future-proofed for our members, so further increases in scale are important to us – our size is absolutely correlated to the positive role we want to play in wider society.
Whether it be through our parliamentary work on pension scams or our calls on the government to lower the earnings trigger, our aim is to improve the pensions industry for all savers.
Greater scale gives us greater influence over where and how our members’ money is invested.
Use profits to help people today and tomorrow
Quite simply, we want to help our members become financially stronger, today and tomorrow, and to help them build better financial foundations for life. Find out more about what makes us a different financial services business