Group has moved all products onto a single platform and upgraded its computer systems
Axa has revamped its group pension (GP) offering, moving all products onto a single administration platform and upgrading computer systems to link into employer payrolls.
The group is also pushing a 'lifestyle profiling' investment option to advisers and trustees. This allows scheme members to have the fund actively managed through to their intended retirement date, automatically switching them from equities to gilts based on their intended retirement age, or make their own investment decisions.
Steve Muir, Axa's marketing manager, said the move onto a single administration platform removes the complexity some employers faced when using multiple Axa pension products based on the two separate legacy systems the group inherited from Sun Life and Equity & Law.
Axa's pension product range comprises group stakeholder pensions, group personal pensions, group occupational pensions (both Chapter One and Chapter Four) and group AVC plans.The group has also streamlined its electronic application process for new scheme members and upgraded its Axa-link employer administration software to manage the payroll deduction of contributions as well as handling scheme joiners and leavers.
In addition, it is targeting larger intermediaries and employee benefit consultants via a new sales and marketing division known as Corporate Benefit Solutions.
The new arm, made up of staff already handling key pension accounts, will not only handle sales and distribution, but also offer pension project management, installation and advisory services, according to Muir.
Axa has spent £170m on re-engineering its group pension proposition in response to the changes wrought by stakeholder pensions and increasing market competition.
Steve Folkard, Axa's head of pensions marketing, said: 'Our plan is to grow our share of the UK group pensions market at the expense of those providers who are forced to exit the market and those left who do not invest in the future.
'Our aim is to deliver what our experience and research says is best practice to clients, employee benefits consultants and specialist pensions IFAs, not only in terms of product features but also in the way we structure and deliver our services as a whole.'
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