With several EU countries now actively supporting it, the European Tracking Service (ETS) on Pensions is taking shape, say Michel de Jonge, Wilfred Beens and Wouter ten Cate.
We carefully implement the transition of pension schemes. The pension fund and participants are key in this.
We perform the pension administration for industry, company and occupational pension funds and for the directly available premium regulation. Because we serve many different funds, we can offer a range of pension schemes. This enables us to fulfil the various wishes of our clients.
Client journey in the pension chain
In the Pension Management department, our work is based on client journeys. This means we can respond faster and better to the wishes and requirements of clients and changes in laws and regulations. A client journey consists of activities which a participant or employee undertakes, often following an important life event. For example, clients who are moving house, getting married or taking retirement. For employers, this may involve joining a scheme or paying premiums.
Because we set high standards with respect to the quality of our data, participants receive good pension overviews from our clients and employers receive correct invoices. By consistently working on preventing dropouts, our dropout percentage with our biggest client is around 0.2 percent.
We are continually innovating our pension administration system, so that fewer people are involved in processing pension data. For example, we use 'robots' to automate manual tasks. This reduces the costs per participant whilst maintaining high quality processing.
Every pension fund has its own image: its own communication style, its own identity. We recognise this. By asking questions and listening attentively, we can analyse the objectives of our clients as the basis for good, professional marketing and communication advice. Our clients also benefit from our many years of experience as communication advisor for various pension funds.
We are familiar with laws and regulations and understand the language of our clients, their participants and of the policymakers in The Hague. We base all forms of communication on our clients, their participants and the employers. They are key. We use the right tone and choose the medium that best suits their world, aimed at increasing pension awareness. We are happy to use our extensive network to promote the interests of our clients.
In our direct contact with participants and employers, we also make a difference. We continuously investigate whether participants are satisfied with the way in which they are supported by our people in the client contact centre. We use that input to make any necessary adjustments and to train our people.
Using online options
We invest in all the online and mobile options offered by new technology. We respond to developments like social media and use the chat function to be able to communicate faster with participants. We offer participants a personal online environment, where they can see all the information about their pension. They can also elaborate personal scenarios, enabling them to make the right choices leading to the desired pension. We also offer employers their own portal, where they can check their administration and stay up to date with the latest developments relating to their employees' pensions.
In recent years, we have acquired extensive experience in executing transitions. The transition and implementation of the administration of a pension scheme goes further than merely transferring data. We see the transition as a separate phase, which we approach on a project basis. To do this, we draw up an operational transition plan with a time schedule per subproject, a detailed description of the work to be carried out and the milestones and goals to be achieved.
We manage the transition of the pension administration carefully and well. In this, our clients and their participants are key. The basis of good pension administration is the quality of the corresponding data. As a precondition, we stipulate that the quality of the data to be provided from the old pension administrator must be correct and complete. If there are any problems, we will find a suitable solution together with the old administrator.
Due to our project-based approach, we can ensure that the transition proceeds smoothly, with the board being fully in control. This is done via a transparent and agreed control and reporting model. As part of the transition, we talk to the asset manager, financial administrator and front office about information exchange. We obviously ensure that all the information flows fulfil the most stringent security standards.
Continuity has top priority
In the transition phase, continuity of the pension administration and the administrative process has top priority. Employers and participants will not notice much, if anything, of the transition of the fund to a new administrator. They will naturally be informed, but the change will be smooth. We update the board about the progress of the transition and minimise any distractions from their core task: managing the pension fund.
It is in the interest of pension fund participants that the European Union levies dividend withholding tax more efficiently, Jesse Martens and Niels Krook say.
The UK’s departure from the EU makes it urgently necessary for the Netherlands to enter into new cooperative relationships. Various pension related topics are involved here; we have already discussed sustainable investment in France and an adequate pension in Denmark.
Follow us on social media