THE CO-OPERATIVE GROUP APPOINTS LEGAL & GENERAL WORKPLACE SAVINGS TO ADMINISTER AUTOMATIC ENROLMENT PENSION SCHEME.
02 July 2012
The Co-operative Group's new scheme is called 'The Pension Arrangement for Co-operative Group Employees’ or ‘Pace' and comprises a new trust based defined contribution (DC) scheme that utilises the existing Co-operative Pension Trust.
The DC section of Pace will be open from 1 October and will initially accommodate members from pension schemes inherited by the Group as a result of previous mergers and acquisitions.
The Co-operative Group's automatic enrolment staging date is 1 November when the scheme will be available to all eligible Co-operative Group employees.
Gary Dewin, Co-operative Group Pensions Director said: “From October we will provide a consistent pension offer to our employees via Pace.
In terms of automatic enrolment (AE), we have developed a new DC section of our existing scheme to provide a suitable arrangement to accommodate the upcoming legislation. Importantly it allows us to provide a more generous pension offer to our employees than Government recommendations. Whilst the DC section will provide the entry point into Pace for a majority of people, all employees will have the opportunity to join the existing DB section of the scheme upon completing 2 years company service.
We estimate that around 40, 000 employees will meet the AE criteria, with a further 30,000 employees who could opt in to the scheme. We wanted to ensure we could offer a straightforward, effective AE process and an attractive pension contribution structure that will appeal to employees at all levels.”
Legal & General’s Distribution Director Workplace Savings, Helen Buchanan commented: “We are naturally delighted to have been chosen to manage the automatic enrolment process and run a new DC pension scheme for The Co-operative Group employees. This is a ringing endorsement of the competitiveness and quality of our products and service.
The Co-operative Group is one of the largest employers in the UK, which is why it is also one of the first to reach a staging date. I am confident that we are ready to meet the challenge of auto enrolling thousands of eligible employees alongside existing members of the Co-operative Group pension scheme in a few months time.
Our Workplace Savings business is set to treble in size by the end of the AE staging programme and is well positioned to deal with this.”
Workplace Savings was named Auto Enrolment Provider of the Year by the UK Pensions Awards (May 2012).
Notes to editors
The Co-operative Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.
The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies. As at 31 December 2011, we were responsible for investing £378 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders. We also had over seven million customers in the UK for our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.
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