Customer Servicing Statement - March

Mar 13, 2024

Customer Servicing Statement - March

Building back to create the capacity and tools to service increasing member demand

West Midlands Pension Fund is building back services and support to address the delays some members have experienced and support more members who are seeking information on their pension savings and future retirement plans.

Monthly and supplemental pension payroll continue to provide over 116,000 members in retirement with regular income, on time. The Fund continues to prioritise the quotation and payment of member benefits, with 2,200 items of retirement casework processed over the first two months of 2024, (compared to 1,900 over the previous three-month period).

The Fund increased customer service call handling capacity in January and February 2024, reducing waiting times. During this two-month period the Fund responded to over 24,000 individual member calls and correspondence.

Increasing capacity and servicing rates has been achieved by a combination of Fund recruitment, training and development of servicing tools. Both active members and employers now have the facility to review and produce benefit estimates through online self-service (members have run over 15,000 benefit estimates through the new online platform since the end of January). Access to in-person support has also been increased through signposting of member support and events available across the region.

The Fund continues to work in partnership with Equinti, its Pension Administration Software supplier, to complete planned system development to further increase processing efficiencies and output.  The Fund continues to issue member and employer service updates every 4-6 weeks, signposting information and support as this is refreshed, with further communication through individual correspondence and routine employer engagements. The Fund continues to engage employers on the timely provision of member data, noting an increase in quality of data received following the introduction of the new data submissions interface in 2023.

Rachel Brothwood, Executive Director of Pensions commented:

“We continue to contact those who are affected by servicing delays and are pleased to be able to confirm that our servicing rates continue to increase.  Member demand remains high, and we are reducing waiting time, whilst continuing to serve more members looking to engage and plan for their retirement.

We expect to see a further increase in servicing performance over the coming weeks.  Our enhanced online services are helping to support members at all stages of pension saving. We continue to monitor and seek opportunities to improve customer experience, as we look to return to business as usual for our customers by the Summer.” 

Further information, support and access to customer information please visit Customer Servicing Update.

Notes to editors 

The West Midlands Pension Fund is one of the largest UK pension funds administering the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pensions of over 350,000 members on behalf of over 800 public sector employers/service providers. 

The Fund transitioned to its new pension administration system in July 2023.  The new provider was appointed and system developed for the LGPS following a competitive tender exercise utilising the National LGPS Frameworks.  The Fund was a founding member of the framework, which has supported the need for increased provider market for LGPS administration software.