- To be sure that they are adhering to both The Pensions Regulator (tPR) and The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) regularly changing guidance.
- Open and honest regular dialogue, no surprises with statutory compliance/disclosure now being the priority.
- Be clear on the Scheme’s priorities and identify any non-critical projects that can be done at a later date.
- Make changes to working practices as needed to allow for additional, new or delays in procedures due to Covid-19.
- Be aware of the heightened risk of scams and fraud.
- Communicate with members.
Ascot Lloyd are achieving all this with their team of experts still working in full from home.
In particular, the Pension Scheme members have been reassured by our service during these times:
- We have let members know how they can get in touch and reassured many that we are still there for them ensuring we update our database with emails and telephone numbers for more efficient means of contacting them. With many people suffering loss of loved ones or hardship in these times, we have been there at the end of the phone to answer their queries and other than postal delays, they should see no change in their service from us.
- We have added additional warnings to our letters and statements to alert them to the heightened risk of scams and fraud.
- We continue with our identity verification on the phone and whilst the phone lines are being manned on a rota, if we need to pass their call on to one of our colleagues, we advise them who will call them back.
- We recommend that they delete any sent or received items by email that contain their personal data.
- We ask them to confirm by email if they wish us to communicate with a family member to ensure the correct permissions are in place.
Our staff are instructed to:
- Keep personal data outside the main body of an email and use truncated data if needed i.e. the last 4 digits of an N I Number.
- Attachments are encrypted and password protected.
- Passwords are not sent by email. These are communicated by phone after ensuring they are speaking to the right person.
- Keep audit trails of telephone conversations and they can record a call if needed.
- Be conscious that some families share a family email and seek permission from the pension scheme member if this email is to be used.
- Be aware of latest scams. For example, courier fraud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkyFppZwitA
One of the benefits of working with a larger national firm like Ascot Lloyd is that you can rest assured we’ll be here for you through and after the storm. We are a strong and stable company, both operationally and financially. Our aim is to help you and your members through these difficult times and to reassure you that your Pension Scheme and Members feel safe in our hands.
If you would like any more information on anything contained within this briefing, please contact your Ascot Lloyd consultant/contact directly.