Clients with retirement savings with Zurich will now receive pension ‘wake-up’ packs once they reach age 50, and every five years until they have fully crystallised their pot.
It follows recommendations from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) designed to inspire consumers to engage as early as possible with their pension savings and options. The Department for Work and Pensions is expected to make similar changes for occupational pension schemes.
Zurich has also revamped its original wake-up packs – which are delivered closer to clients’ chosen retirement dates – to include colour, images and simpler messaging.
‘Timely, relevant information’
A ‘wake‑up’ pack should give consumers “timely, relevant and adequate” information about their retirement options to enable them to make an informed decision, the FCA has stated.
Following the regulator’s Retirement Outcomes Review – completed in January this year – it concluded these packs should be sent to savers earlier and more often.
Zurich’s new five-yearly packs contain a plain-English covering letter as well as a plan summary, risk warnings and, from age 55, the ‘Your Pension - it’s time to choose’ guide. The new packs also invite clients to contact their financial adviser if they wish to do so.
From 1 November, Zurich will send the packs firstly within two months after age 50, then again between four and 10 weeks before age 55, and then every five years until your client has fully crystallised their fund. However a new five-yearly pack will not be sent if a six-month or six-week wake-up pack is due to be sent around the same time.
The original, updated
Whilst the content remains broadly similar, Zurich has also updated the design of its original wake-up packs. These will continue to be provided to customers at the two-and-a-half year, six-month and six-week points before their intended retirement date.
These packs have been improved to increase engagement with clients. For the first time, for retail clients on the Zurich Intermediary Platform, colour and images are being used, while clients’ options have been made easier to understand, and the calls to action made clearer.
Clients will be sent their wake-up communications through the post or they will be made available online depending on the preference they have set. Advisers can also access a copy from the Zurich Intermediary Platform document library.
What about legacy clients?
Legacy clients with Zurich will also receive the new five-yearly wake-up packs from age 50. These too contain a plain-English covering letter as well as a plan summary, risk warnings and, from age 55, the ‘Your Pension - it’s time to choose’ guide.
For advisers, Zurich will provide summary information about these new packs in a spreadsheet which is emailed to them.