It is very important to Phoenix that members of its workplace pension schemes receive value for money. In April 2015 Phoenix set up an Independent Governance Committee (IGC) that is independent of Phoenix and exists solely to act in the interests of members of Phoenix workplace pension schemes to ensure they receive value for money.

The IGC raises with Phoenix any concerns it might have on any aspect of what Phoenix is delivering for those members. If it feels that any concerns raised have not been appropriately addressed the IGC can take them to the regulator (the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA for short).

When assessing value for money the IGC looks at how Phoenix performs across a number of aspects, including:

  • customer feedback;
  • customer service and communications;
  • charges and other costs;
  • investment performance; and
  • retirement options.

The IGC published its first annual report in March 2016. Written for members, it described the initial work of the IGC and the improvements made by Phoenix to their workplace pension schemes as a result. To read the report please click here: Phoenix IGC Annual Report (2016).

Its second annual report was published in March 2017 and can be found here: Phoenix IGC Annual Report (2017). It presents the IGC's assessment of Phoenix's performance against the Committee's value for money framework and compares it with their findings last year. The report also describes the ongoing priorities for the IGC and the further improvements in value for money that Phoenix are currently working on, and invites feedback and comments from pension scheme members.

The IGC is governed by its Terms of Reference document, which sets out the role of the Committee, a copy of which can be found here: IGC Terms of Reference

Listening to you

The IGC is keen to hear what value for money means to members of Phoenix workplace pension schemes and about any concerns they may have with their Phoenix pension.

During 2016 we asked Phoenix to do some research with 100 of you so we could get a better idea about what you think. The chart below shows, based on the research, how important certain features of your pension are to you. As you can see, 'security of amount invested', 'quality of communications' and 'customer service' are most important.

Security of Amount Invested
67% responded important
Quality of Communications
67% responded important
Customer Service
65% responded important
Ease of Accessibility of Information
63% responded important
Investment Performance
58% responded important
Choice of Product / Fund Available
54% responded important
Overall level of Charges
53% responded important
Actual Amount Invested
48% responded important

The research also tried to find out whether you think you are getting value for money from your Phoenix pension and why. Whilst there was a mixture of responses it was clear that performance of your investment was the key consideration. We are taking these findings into account in our work.

We are always keen to hear your views so please get in touch with us at email address: IGC@thephoenixgroup.com

Transaction Charges

In our annual report last year we talked about charges and other costs that apply to Phoenix workplace pensions. These include 'transaction charges' which are the costs of buying and selling investments that your pension pot is put into. Although we reviewed transaction costs for Phoenix workplace pensions we noted that there is no industry standard to allow us to compare the level of charges to those of other companies.

During 2016 we were pleased that the regulator (the FCA) proposed some new rules in a document called "Transaction cost disclosure in workplace pensions". The proposals are aimed at making companies disclose their transaction charges to make comparing between companies easier. We support most of the proposals and you can read our response to the FCA's proposals here.