Salvus solves adviser pension access problem

Salvus solves adviser pension access problem

Workplace pension provider Salvus Master Trust is introducing full delegated access to advisers, which will go live in the first quarter of this year.

The goal is to allow scheme members to appoint a regulated financial adviser to manage their pension pot in the provider’s platform, Salvus managing director Graham Peacock told FTAdviser.

He said: “In the group personal pensions marketplace, because it is a personal pension, the saver can appoint any adviser to do all this for him.

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“I'm trying to bring some of the benefits that the personal pensions market place has, where you can appoint an adviser to do things in your behalf.”

The provider – which has £100m in pension assets, with 50,000 members and 4,500 employers registered - has currently a member portal where the individual can transact a whole host of different situations.

Mr Peacock said: “They can do beneficiary nominations, they can consolidate pensions, they can transfer in and request to transfer out, they can update their personal details, they can switch investments, they can increase/decrease contributions, or stop contributions.

“We are just working out how many of those functions the trustees are comfortable delegating to an appointed regulated adviser.”

He added that death and beneficiary nominations might be restricted to members only, for example.

He said: “We will be doing the delegated access in a very simplistic way, which may well be that the member has to fill in a form online and appoint an adviser.

“And then we can add other login detail for that particular members account, with a slightly restricted view.”

Salvus is not the first firm to allow adviser access, since National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) – the biggest provider in the UK, with 6m members – currently allows any member or employer to designate a delegate to act on their behalf.

Mark Rowlands, Nest's director of customer engagement, said: “Our members are able to nominate people, including financial advisers, that they want to have access to their Nest account. This helps ensure members get the support they want, which can all be managed online and is offered at no additional cost.”

Now: Pensions, with 1.5m members, doesn't provide such a service. 

A spokesperson said: "As Now: Pensions offers a single investment strategy, delegated access for advisers to alter investment choice isn’t relevant for our membership.

"However, we constantly seek feedback from advisers about improvements we could potentially make to our systems.”

Providers Smart Pension and The People’s Pension have been approached for comment.

According to Alan Chan, director and chartered financial planner at London-based IFS Wealth & Pensions, Salvus giving advisers delegated access “is a great idea” and if more providers were open to providing this facility advisers “could better serve the corporate market”.

He said: “As any adviser will tell you, workplace schemes often make it very difficult for advisers to do their jobs because they don’t recognise third party servicing or access to information is very limited.