Aon launch marks ‘fundamental realignment’ of DC pensions market

Employee Benefits firm Aon has partnered with BlackRock to launch a contract-based defined contribution pension scheme for savers pre and post-retirement.

The Bigblue Touch scheme can be used for building up a pension pot through auto-enrolment and as a post-retirement fund for customers who want to stay invested.

Aon says trust-based providers that do not want to offer the full range of flexibilities introduced by the pension reforms could use the scheme for retired and deferred members.

Members will be given access to Aon’s Bigblue technology which shows the value of retirement savings alongside other finances, including mortgages, credit cards and house values.

The scheme also includes 30 “default triggers” which flags to members when speaking to a financial adviser might be beneficial, for example if the lifetime allowance is about to be broken or if moving from drawdown to an annuity should be considered.

BlackRock will provide administration services and investment, including target-date funds.

Aon head of DC proposition Debbie Falvey says: “The changes in last year’s Budget threw into sharp focus the issue of supporting DC members with their retirement saving and raised important questions about how employers can support their employees  through the new range of choices at retirement, and in a way that is engaging and cost effective.

Finance & Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “This potentially represents a fundamental realignment of the value chain in the DC marketplace. We are basically seeing a major distribution business assemble its own proposition using best in breed resources, allied to technology.

“A lot of people in the benefits market have historically only focused on a small group of very large consultants. That one of them has now built its own proposition is hugely significant.

“Aon may be the first to do this, but I don’t think they will be the last.”

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