Standard Life continues to enhance its workplace DC pension proposition with the launch of In-Scheme Drawdown for 1.5 million members of its GFRP and GSIPP workplace pension schemes.
It’s the latest in a series of developments across its DC contract based pension arrangements and draws on the 2020 expansion in its range of self-select responsible investment funds and the introduction in December of a new ESG Default solution - the Standard Life Sustainable Multi-Asset ESG Default for members of its workplace pension schemes. This launch also follows the successful introduction of In-Scheme Drawdown for Standard Life’s DC Master Trust members last year.
Commenting, Gail Izat, Workplace Managing Director at Standard Life said:
“Launching In-Scheme Drawdown for our Group Flexible Retirement Plan (GFRP) & Group Self-Invested Personal Pension (GSIPP) scheme members marks another milestone in our drive to offer market leading workplace pension solutions and service. We are delivering on a promise made to the market in 2020, as part of our commitment to invest in our propositions, service and brand in the retirement savings marketplace. Widening access to In-Scheme Drawdown is a significant development in simplifying the journey to retirement for members and gives them more control over how they save and access their pension savings. In recognising the complex retirement decisions that members face, and to help workplace members and advisers, we have also built and introduced a range of online tools, calculators, investment choice architecture and telephony support to further simplify this process.”
Key features of the new In-Scheme Drawdown proposition
Member Flexibility and Charging:
Increased functionality allows Standard Life’s GFRP and GSIPP scheme members to take an income and continue saving for their retirement within the same plan, while removing the need to transfer to a new arrangement and incur additional charges in the process. Withdrawals can be taken on a lump sum or regular basis, with Standard Life also accepting transfers in from members other pension pots at any time, either before or after accessing drawdown. There are no additional charges for In-Scheme Drawdown.
Members can also remunerate their financial adviser when accessing In-Scheme Drawdown within their pension plan and choose from a menu of flexible options that includes Initial, Ad-Hoc and On-going charging structures, subject to scheme rules.
By remaining part of an employer scheme, members retain any scheme discounts when choosing In-Scheme Drawdown and these discounts will apply for life even if they change employer. Additionally, the In-Scheme Drawdown option ensures that active members don’t suffer a break in contributions from an employer. Historical scheme leavers will also have access to drawdown within their existing plans.
The focus on flexibility extends to the investment options available to members choosing drawdown within their existing employer scheme. Based on their level of investment expertise and understanding, members can ‘self-select’ for access to a full range of over 300 funds or choose ‘Investment Pathways’ - the guided investment framework comprising four investment options and designed to make it simpler and easier to execute their investment choice.
Client and Member support:
Building on its reputation for digital innovative and service excellence, Standard Life has developed a series of customer journeys to support members when they access In-Scheme Drawdown. The resources include digital and telephony support, along with online tools and calculators. GFRP and GSIPP plans are also accessible within the Standard Life app
Additional member guides providing step-by-step information on how In-Scheme Drawdown works and investment options are available on member’s workplace websites and will help support conversations by telephone. As part of the In-Scheme Drawdown developments, members will also receive Annual Benefit Statements that are designed to be even more engaging, clearer and informative. Each of these developments have been driven by customer, client, adviser and operational insight, in line with the Standard Life ethos of supporting advisers and their clients to achieve good outcomes at retirement.
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