It should come as no surpriseâ¦.The words “award winning service” are synonymous with Standard Life. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Standard Life’s online Group Pensions offering is recognised as one of the industry’s leading solutions, earning the maximum ‘eee’ rating for Group Pensions e-commerce excellence. In a fast changing, compet-itive marketplace, Standard Life continually raises the bar through the adoption of new technology, teamed with the highest standards of servicing, offering unrivalled value to customers. Working closely with advisers and employers, we have improved our employer services, rebranded it as Group Pensionzone, bringing alignment with our respected adviserzone. â¦we know what you needâ¦.. Advisers and employers who participated in our extensive research and usability trials told us that our technology solutions are invaluable in helping reduce their admin costs. In addition, it provides complete support in the areas they see as key, namely: o Total control for group scheme administratorso An intuitive and friendly interface for novice and expert userso Complete user confidence reinforced through robust data validationo Dedicated support from Standard Life’s professional system support staff. â¦simplicity, flexibility and choiceâ¦ Using GroupPensionzone, joining members to a group scheme could not be easier. The online joining process has been designed with speed and efficiency in mind. New members can be joined, either individually or in bulk, without the need for lengthy application forms, saving advisers time and encouraging more employees to join. Advisers can choose how much or little involvement they, the employer or the employee have in the process. Online validation ensures data quality and, once submitted, the data is automatically processed straight through, triggering the issue of policy documentation out and the payment of commission. Similarly, making payments online is fast and easy. The adviser or employer is in control of how much the payments are and when they are paid. Payments are allocated automatically to the members’ policies. As all payments schedules made online are stored online, they can be easily retrieved for inspection or regulatory purposes at any time. The flexibility of joining members and making payments complements any business model. Data can be uploaded, if it is held on an adviser’s back office system, or downloaded from the employer’s HR system. All administration functions can conveniently be performed online such as: o Processing leaverso Changing members’ names and addresseso Increasing or decreasing contributionso Switching investment instructionso Requesting retirement and fund valuations. Emp-loyees are also able to per-form these functions online through our customer’s online services, which we have renamed employeezone. Through Bulk data download from adviserzone, advisers can request a down-load of all the data held on our system for an entire Group Pension scheme. This data can be downloaded, in either csv or xml format and easily populated into back-office software. …and we will continually move forward… o And we’re not standing still. We have a full development plan, which will continue to enhance service through technology for everyone. Some of the current developments include: An interactive retirement modelling tool for employees through which changes can be madeo Improvements to our online management information, producing invaluable governance reporting for employers. â¦delivering excellence for youâ¦. We listen to advisers, we analyse calls to our dedicated Group Pensions E-Commerce Support Line and we conduct intensive customer research. We respond by making changes that ensure GroupPensionzone remains at the forefront of business and technological developments. A dedicated IT team are aligned solely to GroupPensionzone and fast, flexible, agile tech-niques are used for these latest developments and for future ones such as A-Day. GroupPensionzone is based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA), for which Standard Life is a medallist in the 2005 British Computing Society Awards. This SOA been described by Forrester, an independent IT research organisation, as “best practice” in many areas. Jost Hopperman, vice-president of research at Forrester, also recently commented: “Standard Life has defined a state-of-the-art business service model.” Use of such models reduce development effort and costs and improve the quality of IT applications and these benefits are realised in GroupPensionzone. â¦with dedicated support To support advisers and their clients, we have a dedicated team of e-commerce experts available. If you are not already one of our 10,000 GroupPensionzone users, call 0845 60 60 092 or register online at www. adviserzone.com today. If you would like to participate in any of our usability tests, please speak to your Standard Life consultant. As we said, no surprises!
Arch Financial Planning managing director Arthur Childs predicts this will be a bumper year for VCTs as 40 per cent income tax relief is expected to end in April 2006. “This is one of a number of offers that I would expect to see oversubscribed. Matrix has a team of eight experienced managers specialising in […]
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The Lib Dems are considering setting up a separate government agency to assess independently the burden on industry caused by the FSA and other regulators. Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Huhne told Money Marketing in Blackpool he has been in discussions with the Dutch government about a model it uses to make an […]
Those villified for selling the plans may feel aggrieved. They might suggest that morally the FSA shares some of the blame and argue that to assess the marketing material requires an understanding of how the plans worked. However this is probably academic. The FSA did not have the power to strike out this sort of plan at the time.
This guide from Johnson Fleming, entitled ‘Choosing an auto-enrolment provider’, will take you through some key questions you need to ask and what information you want to be finding out in response to these.
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