At NOW: Pensions we have always prided ourselves on being open and honest with our customers, even when times are tough.We regularly seek feedback from clients and while most have had a positive experience, some have faced delays processing pension contributions. This is not the standard of service we aim to provide, or our clients have a right to expect and I am truly sorry.
These delays have arisen when we’ve received inaccurate, incomplete or missing payroll data – such as a missing date of birth, National Insurance number or information relating to the wrong pay period. This data has been held in our system and hasn’t been able to move forward to the next stage where it’s verified and ultimately invested.
Getting these schemes up to date and resolving these historic issues has taken longer than it should and getting this work completed is my number one priority.
It’s important to emphasise that all money we’ve received is safe and we will ensure that any member who has lost out due to these delays is compensated.
To prevent any future issues and to improve the service we provide to all clients, we have invested more than £4m in our own auto enrolment system called the NOW: Pensions Gateway.
We already have over 11,000 clients on Gateway and it is working extremely well. The platform ensures that poor quality or incomplete data is not accepted and that employers receive immediate detailed feedback as to the reasons why so that the data can be correctly and successfully resubmitted.
We are currently moving all remaining clients onto this system and expect this to be completed by the Spring.
As you would expect of a scheme of our size, we have a regular, open and ongoing dialogue with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) on all aspects of the scheme. While we resolve these issues, we volunteered to remove ourselves from the regulator’s list of providers with master trust assurance. To be clear, we still have the master trust assurance framework and we are still very much open for business.
Earlier this week, we further strengthened our Trustee Board with the announcement that we will be appointing Joanne Segars OBE, former Chief Executive of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. We have also appointed independent trustees, Dalriada Trustees on a voluntary basis – an appointment we discussed and agreed with TPR.
As one of the largest auto enrolment providers, we remain committed to ensuring the policy is a success and that it delivers on its promise of providing thousands more people with a better retirement. We never forget the importance of what we do and the difference it can make to people’s futures.
We want to get this right and we absolutely will.
Troy Clutterbuck, Interim CEO, NOW: Pensions