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 2,300 responses – over a 1,000 more than in 2022.
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 active members who completed the survey rated their customer service experience as either somewhat or very positive, with only 5% saying they’d had a negative experience.
Around one-third of members 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.
Managing your pension online
Over two thirds of members 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.
We were surprised that only 36% of responders who use ‘My Pension’ had accessed their Annual Benefit Statement. Your statement is very important and details the pension benefits you have built up in the LGPS at 31 March each year. It also provides a projection of the pension that you could have if you continue to work until your normal pension age.
We are concerned that some users have experienced problems with registration, lost usernames, and passwords. There is 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.
Website and communication
Over 70% of responders had no awareness of the East Sussex Pension Fund 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 website - www.eastsussexpensionfund.org. The website also provides a link to access the 'My Pension' self service portal.
Following feedback in the 2022 survey we produced guides to support members on key topics of interest. These can be accessed from the website page above. 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 relatively easy.
Nearly 9 in 10 of our members find our general communications somewhat or extremely easy to understand with two thirds stating that the frequency is about right. 3 monthly or 6 monthly were the most popular choice of when we issue newsletters, which ties in with what we do now. 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).