News in brief – 25 January

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched new standards for its Pension Quality Mark (PMQ) to help raise the quality of single-employer DC schemes.

PMQ is an accreditation scheme, developed in 2009, and is designed to improve confidence in workplace pensions. The new standards focus on increasing contributions to employees’ pensions to a minimum of 12 per cent, with at least 6 per cent contributed by the employer. Additionally, it looks to improved governance by enhancing the quality of trustee boards and committees, having an “appropriate default investment strategy” and requiring schemes to “better understand their membership”.

Aegon has launched a film which introduces the concept and value of joining a workplace pension as part of a campaign to encourage employees to engage more with their pension.

The film’s message predominantly targets new joiners and young employees with the core message that workplace savings schemes represent a generous saving perk. It also aims to encourage younger employees to get in the savings habit as soon as they enter the workforce by covering the simplicity of saving, how saving increases the benefits of compounding returns over time and how online told make it easy to keep track of savings.

XPS Pension Group has signed an agreement with RiskFirst to help deliver “fast, high-quality and transparent reporting and modelling” to clients through PFaroe’s suite of analytics.

XPS will use PFaroe alongside its other systems to provide value-added service, and valuation and analytics capabilities that can help to drive optimised decision making and truly successful outcomes for clients.

Aegon has announced that it has worked with leading risk profiling suppliers, Synaptic, Defaqto and FinaMetrica to add additional risk mapping for its Aegon Core Portfolio range of funds.

The new ratings are additional to existing ratings from Distribution Technology. Aegon’s Core Portfolios are seven risk-managed multi-asset funds delivering long-term growth. The funds offer “risk-return profiles to match different investor objectives”, with each portfolio investing in a diversified mix of assets appropriate to its risk rating.

A simplified first stage dashboard could ‘help solve lost pot issue now’, says Quantum Advisory.

As the government consultation on the pensions dashboard is closing on 28 January, Quantum Advisory has encouraged the industry to consider launching a simplified first state platform, loaded with prover and contact details only, to help start combatting the ‘lot pot’ issue as soon as possible.

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