United Kingdom

Aon says lockdown is focusing UK pension schemes on member support

Schemes continuing to issue transfer values


LONDON (1 May 2020) – Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has said that responses to polling on a recent webinar on member options have demonstrated how UK pension schemes are responding to member needs during the COVID-19 crisis as well as supporting the Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) concern over the heightened risk during this period.

The Aon webinar on member options polled its 176 attendees on how they are responding to member requests and allaying concerns during this time of market volatility. When asked on how they were communicating with members, 50% of the respondents said that they had already sent a reassuring communication to members, while another 21% said that they planned to do so shortly.

On the subject of member options and issuing transfer values, 71% of respondents confirmed that they are not planning to suspend issuing transfer values during this period.

Kelly Hurren, head of Member Options at Aon, said:
“We are seeing most schemes continue to pay transfer values because members have a statutory right to a transfer value and some members will be planning their retirement. However, many schemes are reviewing the support they provide to members to ensure that they are making fully informed decisions about their retirement benefits.

“While COVID-19 has brought numerous challenges and changes to work and life in general, it’s also prompting scheme members to review their finances and focusing pension schemes on the need for clear communication with members on a number of areas.”

Kelly Hurren continued:
“We know from Aon’s 2020 Member Options Survey that around a third of schemes have already provided members with online modelling tools and/or access to independent financial advice at the point of retirement - or shortly plan to. However, our webinar poll showed that 19% of schemes now plan to improve the support available to members as a result of COVID-19 and, in particular, the increased possibility of fraudulent activity.

“The Pensions Regulator has already warned about the heightened risk of members being targeted by pension scams during this time and requested that trustees provide additional warnings alongside transfer value quotations to ensure that members make good decisions. Therefore, any additional assurance and access to good quality advice that schemes offer can only be welcomed.”

Gary Cowler, partner and co-lead, UK Pensions Administration at Aon, said:
“This unsettled period has raised concerns over the increased possibility of pension scheme fraud, but our webinar showed that trustees are responding to this. They have also actively engaged with administrators such as ourselves to re-familiarise themselves with the processes we have in place to protect their members against scams and to stay ahead of the would-be fraudsters.

“Again, communication with members is vital to the effectiveness of this and – thankfully – it appears that schemes are upping their efforts and staying in touch with potentially vulnerable members at a time when it’s really needed.”


About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

Follow Aon on Twitter: @AonRetirementUK

Sign up for News Alerts: http://aon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=58

Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office:

The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.

Media Contact:

For further information please contact:

Colin Mayes
Phone: +44 (0) 7801 748138
Email: [email protected]


Tommy Cooper
Kekst CNC
Phone: +44 (0) 7983 921719
Email: [email protected]