Hello, my name is Richard Butcher and I chair the Standard Life Master Trust Company – or SLMTC. We are the trustee of your pension scheme – which means we oversee everything Standard Life does for you while you are in the scheme. All of the directors of SLMTC are independent of Standard Life which means our sole responsibility is to you the members.
Every year, we assess whether you are getting value for money from the scheme. In respect of 2018 we concluded you did. You’ll find lots more information on how we reached this conclusion in our full “Trustees Report and Chair’s Statement for the year to 31 December 2018” which you’ll find on our website.
Value for money, of course, means different things to different people at different times. What’s clear, though, is that it is a comparison of costs verses benefits. And we’ve considered those costs and benefits.
We considered whether the scheme was well run, well governed and whether Standard Life’s administration was good. We decided it was.
We considered whether the investment funds they provide are well governed and concluded they were.
We also considered the performance of the investment funds and concluded they weren’t performing as well as we were expecting them to and so are in the process of making some changes. These changes will be implemented during the course of this year and we will, of course, monitor how this goes and continue to monitor how the funds perform. Much more detail on these changes can be found in our full statement.
We considered whether Standard Life is very good at communicating with you and providing you with all of the information you need in a timely way. We concluded they are.
And finally we considered whether Standard Life was financially strong enough to support the running of the scheme now and in the future and we concluded they are.
Last year, I told you that Standard Life was being bought by Phoenix Group. That deal completed in the Autumn of 2018 and Phoenix committed to keeping the administration function in Edinburgh. This means there’s been no change to the people involved in the day to day running of the scheme, they’re using the same systems and provide the same investment funds.
Despite the upheaval a transaction like this could cause, we were pleased to see there was no deterioration in service.
Last year I also told you the government had introduced new law requiring all schemes like this one to be authorised by The Pensions Regulator and I am delighted to be able to tell you that this scheme has been authorised.
Authorisation means that you and future members, as well as the employers participating in the schemes, have an added layer of reassurance that we are focussed on delivering for you.
Earlier on I explained that we assessed the costs and benefits of the scheme. What we have not assessed is your and your employer’s level of pension saving – despite these being one of the factors that will have the greatest influence on the level of retirement benefits you receive. I strongly recommend you review your level of pension saving. You should do that today and you should do it regularly in the future.
Thanks for watching this video. We’d love to hear what you think of it and the scheme. Do let us know. Our contact details are on the website.