PensionBee leads industry with launch of simpler annual statements

Holly Roach reports...

PensionBee has become the first UK pension provider to adopt simpler annual statements to improve its pension reporting to members and encourage engagement.

The online provider adopted the two-page design to help consumers better understand and compare their pension pots with different providers.

The move comes after pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman officially launched the simplified annual statement in October last year, in response to the government’s 2017 review of auto-enrolment (AE) with the aim to “junk the jargon” and help people engage with their savings.

The simplified format was developed by one of the AE review’s chairman, Ruston Smith, and so far PensionBee has delivered the statements to around 25,000 of its customers.

Smith said the statement is intended to provide “a short, clear, simple and, with wide industry adoption, a consistent approach for embers to help them understand and engage with retirement savings”.

The government’s AE review found less than 14% of members read and understand their annual pension statements, despite schemes and providers sending out millions each year.

As 80% of PensionBee customers access their pension information on their phones, its simpler statement is fully mobile-optimised and includes information on all charges levied on pots.

The simpler statement details the amount of money a member has saved into their pension plan so far, the amount added by their employer, the money transferred from other schemes, and the total amount in their plan to date.

Head of corporate development Clare Reilly commented: “The simpler annual statement will help consumers make more sense of their pensions. For too long pensions have been shrouded in mystery and complexity.

“At PensionBee, our mission is to make pensions simple and we are delighted to lead the way on this important initiative.”

Opperman added: “I am 110% committed to simpler statements and am pleased to see PensionBee adopting the simpler annual statement. I look forward to the rest of the industry doing the same thing in 2019.”