Phoenix Group has launched a range of in-scheme drawdown options on its DC master trust, which follow the Government’s proposed investment pathways.
These options — which will be available for clients of Standard Life Assurance — will allow scheme members to access their pension savings from within the scheme.
The company says these options are based on the principles of investment pathways architecture, due to be introduced for all contract-based scheme next year.
Phoenix says this enhancement to its workplace savings proposition is in direct response to feedback from scheme members, clients and their advisers, saying this development underlined its growth ambitions in the workplace pensions market.
Phoenix Group proposition director Jenny Holt says: “By introducing in-scheme drawdown to the Standard Life DC Master Trust pension scheme proposition, we’re making it simple and easy for pension scheme members to remain within their scheme while accessing their pension savings.
“We know that it is important to support members with their decision making when accessing their pension savings, which is why we were keen to embrace the principles of the investment pathways architecture and have included new guided digital journeys to support scheme members.”
The new investment pathways will offer four ready-made investment options based on what a scheme member plans to do with their drawdown pot.
This four options include:
- members have no plans to touch their pension funds in the next five years
- members plan to use money to buy an annuity within five years
- members plan to start taking money as long term income in next five years
- members planning to take out all the money within the next five years.
For each there will be a ready-made fund portfolio based on these goals. More confident investors will still have the option of choosing their own fund portfolio.
There is no minimum fund size to access any of these pathway options, and members will remain part of their employer’s scheme, so retaining any scheme discounts when they choose in-scheme drawdown.
Phoenix added that members continue to benefit from existing support online, with new guided digital journeys, and further support over the phone if required, as well as additional contact and support through retirement events.
In 2019 Phoenix Group also announced an enlarged partnership with leading technology and service provider TCS which will create a single, open architecture, digital operating platform that will be both agile and scalable. This will accelerate the speed to market to meet the future needs of workplace advisers, employers and scheme members.
Working with TCS, Standard Life Assurance Limited will shortly start to introduce enhanced analytics for workplace clients.
This will provide schemes with much richer insight, enabling them to segment their membership base and take more targeted action with their scheme members, to help them achieve better outcomes. The enhanced analytics will gradually be made available to clients from September onwards.
Holt adds: “We’ve laid out a clear roadmap for our workplace pension proposition and we’re committed to supporting our clients and to continuing to grow our presence in the Master Trust market. We’re looking forward to sharing news of future developments.”
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