Standard Life wins Master Trust Offering of the Year

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Gail Izat

August 10, 2021

3 mins read

Standard Life has been awarded Master Trust Offering of the Year at the 2021 Pensions Age Awards. Workplace Managing Director, Gail Izat, explains the innovations we’ve been working on that have helped make us the best in class.

Winning Master Trust Offering of the Year is a huge achievement for us at Standard Life and we believe it’s a fair reflection of the innovative changes we’ve made over the last year. From our ground-breaking online Client Analytics tool, to our personalised videos and evolution of our vulnerable customer programme, every individual employer and member within our scheme has the personalised insight, support and tools to help them make confident, well-informed choices.

Andy Curran, CEO of Savings & Retirement at Standard Life, said “I am delighted to see Standard Life win this prestigious industry award and our first Master Trust award since 2018. This is a true testament to the hard work and dedication from our people, working together across the business to provide propositions and solutions that benefit members, clients and advisers.”

Our Master Trust offering

Our Master Trust is designed to support members at the key moments that matter. Standard Life is well thought of in the DC Master Trust market – we’ve been doing this since 1974 and are recognised as one of the leading providers in the industry – managing all or part of the pension arrangements for a large number of pension schemes in the UK.

Always improving

We’ve continued to improve our online and telephony drawdown journeys. In July 2020, we launched in-scheme drawdown for our DC Master Trust members, which feature four investment solutions based on the FCA’s investment pathways. These guided investment journeys are a sector first for Master Trust.

We align members to different funds according to their drawdown intentions, and we guide them through digital journeys for each pathway and of course they can also call us for support and guidance too. We support and guide members every step of the way with their retirement options.  More information can be found in our retirement video.

Helping to improve pension confidence

Our confidence tiles in the member dashboard are unique within the sector. They allow members to indicate their pension ‘confidence’ or understanding with a relevant guided journey based on how confident they are. Pioneered in our ‘plan your retirement journey’, the tiles have already been used by around 25,000 members, and the approach will be rolled out more widely later this year.

Understanding members better

Our Master Trust clients now benefit from our online Client Analytics tool. We launched this in September 2020 following a consultation with 20 clients/advisers. To date, c.600 clients and advisers have access to Client Analytics, covering over one million members.

The tool enables employers to better understand their scheme and member activity. They can navigate, segment and analyse the data collected on their scheme, and review how their members behave and save for retirement. This helps them quickly identify any concerns or opportunities for improvements.

They can even evaluate their scheme’s performance and compare it to the performance of other Standard Life schemes.

Enhancing our mobile app

Finally, we’ve further optimised the member journey which has made our mobile app the digital channel of choice for members, prompting a 68% increase in sessions year-on-year (to the end of 2020) and averaging c1m logins per month this year to date. We’ve been making regular improvements to our app, making sure members can do more on-the-go, resulting in a 4.7 star rating on the Apple app store and a 4.3 star rating on Google Play for Android.

Members can now manage their beneficiaries on the app, with c.2000 members doing so within a month of deployment. They also now have the opportunity to update their retirement date on the app.

And we have also added new features to the member dashboard including our new Retirement Income Tool, fully incorporating the PLSA Retirement Living Standards. We’ve also given our secure messaging function an upgrade, allowing members to upload multiple photo attachments rather than having to post verified IDs.

Increased member satisfaction

All of these changes have had a pronounced impact on member experience, with consistently high customer satisfaction scores.

As an example, we have seen consistently high results for telephone interactions with an exceptional 91% of members stating these were good or excellent in both Q1 2021 and Q2 2021.

Thank you

I’m thrilled that our hard work has been recognised with this award and I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible. We are looking forward to continuing to build on our award-winning innovations for clients, members and advisers in the years to come.

Find out more on our award-winning trust-based pensions and what they can offer you.


The information here is based on our understanding in July 2021 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.

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