Workplace pensions: Supporting diverse adviser business models

Workplace pensions: Supporting diverse adviser business models

Ronnie has a proven track record of leading distribution and marketing teams over his 29-year career in Financial Services. He joined Lloyds Banking Group in October 2013 as Pensions and Investments Director for Scottish Widows, where he led the proposition and distribution strategy for corporate and individual business. Now as Distribution Director, Ronnie has responsibility for all of Insurance Distribution.

As one of the UK’s leading providers, Scottish Widows has been listening to advisers and using their feedback to develop a flexible proposition that can partner effectively with all types of corporate adviser business models. They are also taking on the challenge of responding to those industry issues that have often been filed in the “too difficult to do” category. We asked Ronnie Taylor to tell us more.

What are the key themes that advisers are telling you about workplace pensions?

Workplace Pensions is a complex market because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ corporate adviser business model. As such, Scottish Widows has developed its flexible approach, products and services to support an over-arching theme of partnering effectively with the multiple models advisers use to service their clients. In addition, through listening to advisers, the specific key themes we have identified include enhancing our digital proposition, supporting robust scheme governance and improving our adviser telephony back-office support.

What improvements have you made to your digital proposition?

In 2016, we invested £50m to radically transform our digital proposition. Of the many enhancements, a key one to highlight is our non-advised transfers website. The non-advised transfers website has been designed to make the transfer process as simple as possible with an easy to follow 3 step process. We have already processed over 13,000 transfers through the site and with a median transfer value of more than £5,000 and many members telling us they have completed their applications in less than 10 minutes, Scottish Widows has provided a solution that complements the various adviser models.

How are you providing better scheme governance data insight?

Feedback from advisers is that they want to work with us in a flexible, tripartite relationship that supports how they work with their clients and reflects each of our roles in the value chain. With this in mind, we’ve developed a flexible new governance support pack that provides advisers with the opportunity to build reports from modularised blocks, which means they can create the report that fits their model and supports robust scheme governance.

How have you changed your adviser telephony support?

A year and a half ago, the number one complaint from advisers was all about our telephony system. Phoning in to our service support teams and then having to use the voice recognition system just wasn’t working for advisers. Based on this feedback we changed the system and now provide a direct dial number straight through to our Adviser Contact Team (ACT). We’ve received fantastic feedback on the ACT, as it has vastly simplified getting in touch with us.

Finally, how would you position yourself in the workplace market? 

We’re proud to partner with our corporate advisers and have listened to them to do things differently. For example, we’re expanding our partnership with Pensions Geeks. They do a great job educating the public about pensions, and have worked with us on our workplace pensions awareness campaign. We also take our pensions bus to workplace clients to help employees learn more about their options.