How we are helping the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme improve service and increase engagement
A long and trusted partnership that keeps on delivering.
The Teachers’ Pensions Scheme is the second largest public sector pension scheme in the UK. Capita was first awarded the contract to administer the scheme in England and Wales in 1996, by the Department for Education. We were re-awarded the contract for a further seven years in 2003 and again in 2011. But this new contract was different – our remit has expanded and is much more than obtaining SLAs and doing the paperwork, we’re responsible for raising awareness of what the scheme provides and how teachers can get the best out of it.
Encouraging teachers online to actively plan for their retirement.
A re-shaped service and improved technology to increase engagement.
An increase of 1.4 million website visits.
Back in 1996, we needed to transfer 470 staff to Capita from DfE and commence service delivery, all in a short space of time, while making initial enhancements to the existing inherited system. By 1999 we had successfully migrated 1.7m pensions to our pensions administration system, HartLink. Using HartLink meant that we could enable web capabilities for members and they have been able to access their retirement benefits through the scheme website since 2002.
In 2004 we migrated 1.5m legacy records from batch mainframe systems and digitised nine miles of paper files. Many of the records were over 30 years old and had inherent errors which caused delays in processing requests, so we also carried out a major data cleansing and verification exercise to improve data integrity.
By 2011 we had a new challenge – we needed to reach an audience that had never been pro-actively communicated to and who, as we found out from speaking to them, felt disengaged with their pension. This required an important behavioural change both internally and externally – ultimately encouraging teachers to actively plan for their retirement and understand the value of their pension.
When the contract was retendered in 2011, we recognised the need for a re-shaped service and an improved technology platform to increase engagement and provide flexibility and innovation to meet the changing needs of stakeholders. A key objective of the new contract is to get teachers to understand just how important their pension is, and to enable them to manage it more effectively. Employers are also central to this, helping deliver information to members and providing guidance and support in managing the scheme.
With input from our members and employers, we launched a clean and engaging new brand identity, along with a refreshed website. Everything we issued was rewritten to be jargon free. We also developed a number of training tools, helping members and employers get the most from the scheme.
We have also introduced:
- My Pension Online, a digital portal which allows our members to self-serve using a variety of forms and other useful information and calculators
- further automation of member/employer events, including Auto Enrolment and Annual Allowance
- the ability for active members to view an online Benefit Statement and for retired members to view an online P60
- enhanced reporting functionality to support both DfE and GAD requirements and enhance overall forecasting accuracy
- a Data Quality Framework
- a change to the way we collect data from employers from annual to monthly.
Over the life of the current contract, a large number of improvements have been (and continue to be) made to encourage members online through the use of channel shift. In addition, our service improvements have led to a 48% reduction in costs in the cost base generating approximately £28 million of savings for the government over the first two contract terms.
Capita manages over £9bn per annum of scheme expenditure and collects £5.5bn per annum of scheme income, the majority of which is from the 8,762 participating employers.
The scheme today:
- has approximately 1.9 million members (c. 661,000 active, 590,000 deferred and 700,000 pensioners)
- has over 570,000 My Pension Online registrants
- had 3.2 million website visits in 2016 (an increase from 1.8 million in 4 years) and a projected 3.8 million visits in 2017
- pays 97.8% of tax free lump sum payments within a week of retirement, versus a peer average of 86.3%
- enables members to model their pension (through a pension calculator) taking into account the different scheme arrangements
- has 66% of retirement applications now completed online.