group's dc-link online service will cover a wide range of pensions needs
Schroder Pensions is expanding its capabilities in the defined contribution market with the launch of an online pensions service called dc-Link.
The online system provides access for money purchase occupational schemes, additional voluntary contribution schemes, additional voluntary contribution arrangements, group personal pensions and stakeholder.
It allows members of such schemes to go to the website to view the current balance, see all transactions that have taken place in their pension account over a selected period, to switch holdings between funds where applicable and to view the latest investment reports.
Robert Noach, director of business development said this range of products made it a much more broadly based service than that available from other large providers. He said: 'We have the advantage of being relatively new which has enabled us to come up with an integrated website that allows consumers to look at the whole range of their pensions products. Many other sites are just geared up to deal with stakeholder business and I am not aware of any provider who offers all their defined contribution schemes on their website.'
The site enables intermediaries to tailor their personal access to information including allowing scheme members having access to the contribution rates. Intermediaries and members will be able to access information on Inland Revenue limits and investment options that apply to their company's individual scheme.
Management information will also be available on the site. This includes membership reconciliation and investment reports to help members monitor their scheme's progress.
In addition, the site has links to a range of 'Straight Talking' guides. These relate to savings, pensions and investments and explain in simple terms how and why consumers should invest in different products. The pensions guide has information about the basic state pension, Serps and explains the difference between types of private provision.
The pension provider is also set to launch a website for consultants which it aims to go live with during the second half of next year, according to Noach. He said this site would allow advisers to put together cumulative reports on all the business their clients have placed with Schroder pensions, subject to the approval of those concerned. He said that this would enable advisers to have an overview of the varying investment choices different types of clients have made.
Noach stressed the effectiveness of the tool for employers. He said: 'The wide range of services open to employers administering schemes will make their job more simple. They will be able to do reports for their employees, enabling them to keep track of things like changes of address.' He also stressed that employers would be able to keep an eye on how the scheme was being run for the benefit of its employees, by looking at things like the asset classes chosen.
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