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Covid not having a detrimental effect on pension schemes

written by Bella Palmer

According to a PLSA survey, 91 per cent pension schemes say they are currently operating all business processes smoothly to suit the current environment

The vast majority of pension schemes say that Covid-19 is not having a detrimental effect on them running their schemes and helping savers achieve a better income in retirement, but have warned against the ending of regulatory easements too soon, a PLSA survey can reveal.

In the survey, the PLSA heard that over four fifths of pension schemes (81 per cent) believe Covid-19 is having only little or no impact on the day-to-day running of their scheme; a figure that is up from 67 per cent in April and 42 per cent in March. Furthermore, nine out of ten schemes (91 per cent) say they are currently operating all business processes smoothly to suit the current environment.

Impressively, all (100 per cent) Master Trusts and LGPS members surveyed said that their contingency plans are dealing with Covid-19 either very well or fairly well. 

Since the start of restrictions in the UK due to Covid-19 back in March, most schemes (85 per cent) have reported that they have not seen an increase in member queries. In fact, under one in ten (8 per cent) have said that they have seen a substantial increase since the start of the crisis, while the same proportion have seen a slight decrease. Amongst those who have seen an increase in queries, most say that this has been driven by new retirements while a smaller number report queries around changes in employment or transfers out.

According to the survey, three in eight respondents (37 per cent) say that they have not seen any changes in member behaviour, while around a quarter (27 per cent) have reported that they have seen an increase in individuals accessing their website.

Nigel Peaple, Director of Policy & Research, PLSA, says: The pension industry has proven to be extremely robust in dealing with the massive disruption and unpredictability of Covid-19 and it’s pleasing to see so many of our members coping well and looking optimistically towards 2021.


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