Independent Governance Committee’s 3rd annual report highlights value for money to Royal London workplace customers
5 April 2018
Royal London, the UK's largest life, pensions and investment mutual, today publishes the third report of its Independent Governance Committee (IGC). Led by independent Chairman Phil Green, the Committee finds that Royal London continues overall to provide value for money to its workplace customers and to deliver good investment performance. The IGC this year identified a small number of historic plans where they want to see changes to the charging structure to improve customer value. Royal London has confirmed that these changes will be made in the coming year.
In response to last year’s challenge from the IGC to improve communication and engagement, Royal London has started its retirement communications with customers from five years ahead of retirement rather than focusing on the last six months. This should nudge customers into thinking about their pension and retirement options earlier and it is hoped that customers will better engage with retirement planning and make more informed decisions. Significant improvements have also been made to customers’ annual statements and workplace customers will get the benefit of this later this year.
Phil Green, Chairman of the IGC, commented:
“The IGC’s remit is solely to act in the best interests of Royal London’s workplace customers and consider the value for money being delivered to those customers. Through its work the IGC has helped ensure focus on the needs of workplace customers and provided relevant challenge to the business. We have seen Royal London deliver on the challenges we provided in last year’s report in areas such as customer engagement and short term investment performance. We will continue to monitor the progress being made to ensure the work makes a real difference to customers. Equally important for the Committee is to see high quality service and support being received by workplace customers and sponsoring employers. This quality of service helps to maintain customer engagement with their pensions and ensures opt out rates remain low.”
There have also been significant changes to the report itself. Phil continued: “The Committee sought feedback from workplace customers on the previous report. Their feedback has led to significant changes in the style, flow and tone of the report. We hope that these changes make the report more digestible for Royal London’s workplace customers.”
Steve Webb, Director of Policy Royal London, said:
“The focus the IGC brings, to what we are doing specifically for workplace customers, is very helpful as we continue to deliver enhancements to the value we provide to our workplace customers. In 2017 we provided significant levels of support for the last of our employers going through auto-enrolment and it was important that we helped existing employer customers through re-enrolment and in preparing for increasing levels of contributions. We are pleased that the IGC has recognised our continued high quality service to our customers through this very busy period and also expressed its support for the important role that our ProfitShare scheme plays in delivering value for money to our customers.”
A copy of the IGC’s report can be found here.
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Notes to editor
The Royal London IGC was formed in April 2015 with a majority of independent members, to oversee the governance of workplace pension schemes administered by Royal London. The current members are:
- Phil Green, Chair, Independent member
- Peter Dorward, Independent member
- Myles Edwards, Independent member
- David Gulland, Independent member
- Isobel Langton, CEO Royal London Intermediary
- Jon MacDonald, Chief Risk Officer, Royal London
About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £114 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,637 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2017.
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