No website, no excuse

The concepts behind internetworking, or internet for short, were being developed as early as the 1960s. Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first communication protocol that formed the basis of the “World Wide Web” (the Internet as we know it) in November 1989.

Please don’t credit me with any geekery, I just looked it up on Wikipedia. The irony.

So the question is: “why are trust based pension scheme websites the exception and not the rule?”.

During my career as a fairly conventional pensions consultant I didn’t encounter a single pension scheme that communicated to its members using its own website. At the very best, announcements were infrequently made via the sponsoring company’s intranet, to existing workers (useless for scheme members that had left the company).

It wasn’t until I moved into the communications industry that I experienced a pension scheme that used basic online resources to talk to all of its members on a regular basis.

At the risk of sounding puritanical, there is absolutely no valid excuse for a pension scheme to not have an online presence. Ten years ago, you could have argued, at a push, that the cost of implementing and maintaining a website was excessive for very small schemes with a limited budget. But more recently, access to user-friendly web developing tools has opened up the area for all.

Even in its most basic form, a website is the perfect way to communicate with pension scheme members. It can act as a bulletin board to display important information (contact telephone numbers, details of administrators, scheme documentation, basic FAQs) that will ensure members have a permanent port of call to keep track of their benefits. And the real beauty lies in the fact that a website can be updated instantaneously for next to no cost.

A more ambitious scheme can use online technology to allow members to track and model their benefits, access education tools, update their details, generate instant quotations and move their money around. There is an expectation that these services are offered by insurance companies operating stakeholder and group personal pensions, so why shouldn’t trust based company schemes not follow suit?

Whatever your budget, SHARPEN can help you design, implement, host and maintain a website for your pension scheme. We can also help you promote the site and monitor its effectiveness to help you continually develop and improve the way you communicate with your staff and members.

Just contact us via Hypertext Transfer Protocol to set up a meeting.