Pension providers are moving to automate online checking services and provide instant information fo...
Pension providers are moving to automate online checking services and provide instant information for IFAs in a bid to reduce administration time and costs for both life companies and intermediaries.
Scottish Life has enhanced its e-service, [email protected], by shortening and simplifying the entire increment process for regular group pension business. This new service will eliminate the need for IFAs to schedule a call-back meeting to confirm a client's new increment level.
In a single sitting, IFAs can identify opportunities for enhancing contributions, provide projections and print out relevant increment literature, including a pre-filled increment form for the client to sign, says Scottish Life.
AXA has also developed a service to facilitate pensions provision. AXA's Contract Enquiry facility, which was originally launched in July for bonds, has been expanded to include personal pensions which will allow IFAs to check in real-time on the contribution history, transfer values and contract details of personal pensions taken out before April 2000.
The automated, real-time account checks will free up pensions providers' call centres to deal with more complicated requests, and also allow IFAs to continue working past the closing time of these centres. AXA also expects the system to enable IFAs to work more efficiently by cutting down on administration time and costs.
But although the benefits of this service are obvious, they come at a cost. IFAs would need to provide: a solution that would enable the data within messages from AXA's systems to be accessed, software to enable requests for data to AXA to be made, and a designated web-connected server with an OSIS company certificate.
Costs that would need to be balanced against the benefits of real-time account checks.
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