Thank you to everyone who completed the 2023 survey. It’s important that we understand what we are doing well as a Fund and what we can improve. We had over 1,800 responses.
This webpage summarises the overall results. There is a separate paper which shows the detailed responses to each question (link at bottom of this page).
Your customer service experience
Almost half of deferred members who completed the survey rated their customer service experience as either somewhat or very positive, with 6% saying they’d had a negative experience.
Around 30% of responders have called our Helpdesk. Nearly three quarters of these members had a somewhat or very positive experience when they picked up the phone, which is fantastic news. We will look to maintain the service we provide and seek further improvements as we move into 2024.
There was an appetite for training sessions to help you understand your Local Government Pension Scheme, so this is an area we will look to develop.
There were a couple of specific areas where members highlighted that they needed further support.
Looking after your pension online
Over three-quarters of those who responded have an awareness of ‘My Pension’ – our member self-service Portal. With ‘My Pension’ you can view and update your personal details online, access planning tools and view your Annual Benefit Statement every year.
Just over 50% of responders who use ‘My Pension’ had accessed their Annual Benefit Statement. Your statement is very important and details the current value of your deferred benefits. Your deferred pension will increase each April in line with the cost of living. In addition, a death grant will generally be paid if you die as a deferred member (your partner and children may also receive dependants’ pensions).
We are concerned that some users have experienced problems with registration, lost usernames, and passwords. We do have a support page on our website to help or, you can contact the Member Self Service dedicated Helpline (0300 200 1027) for assistance. The Fund are fully aware this can have a negative effect on people engaging with their pensions online.
So... 2024 is a big year for the Fund as we look to substantially approve our online offering through the implementation of a new version of the member self-service portal. We believe this will empower you to view your pension information confidently and securely, via a modern, user-intuitive, easy to navigate portal. We will be in touch with more news ahead of this exciting change.
The website and communication
Over 75% of responders had no awareness of the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) website and there was some confusion between this and ‘My Pension’. The Fund website and the My Pension self-service portal are set up to do different things.
‘My Pension’ is for you to manage your pension online
The Fund website is your go-to place if you need information on how the LGPS pension works, forms and guides, glossaries, investment information and so much more. If you have a question, the answer probably lies within the ESPF website - www.eastsussexpensionfund.org. The website also provides a link to access the ‘My Pension’ self-service portal.
We will continue to refine content, ensure accessibility guidelines are adhered to and start to introduce more engaging, digital content (for example educational videos) together with case studies which will help to bring the Scheme to life. Please take the time to look around and provide feedback. From the survey results those who have used the website found finding and understanding information fairly easy.
9 in 10 responders find our general communications somewhat or extremely easy to understand with two-thirds stating that the frequency is about right. Issuing newsletters every 6 months or annually were the most popular choice. However, we did have a lot of comments about a lack of basic understanding of the Pension Scheme, so we’ll start to think about ways we can improve this.
We received a number of comments about responsible investment and more specifically fossil fuel exposure. East Sussex Pension Fund commissioned ISIO Investment Advisory Team to produce a paper that explores divestment versus engagement in relation to fossil fuels which is now published on the Funds website. The paper explains the legal framework in which investment decisions are made, a review of the literature on engagement and divestment as well as financial repercussions of a possible divestment strategy.
The Fund was approved as a signatory to the FRC Stewardship Code in 2023. The Stewardship report is available on the website.
Call: 0300 200 1022
Email: [email protected] .
We received comments from members who wanted a reply to questions they had raised. But they hadn’t given us any personal details – please contact us if you still need help. If you did provide us with your National Insurance number and name, our team will answer your questions shortly (if they have not already).