A whole new way of engaging savings and retirement plan members through an innovative “retirement dashboard”
MONTREAL, June 26 2008 – The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada today introduced a new, leading-edge website to allow group savings and retirement plan members to take ownership of their plans. Offering an innovative “retirement dashboard”, the site provides members with an overview of their planning activities, their contributions, account balances, asset allocations and projected retirement assets, every time they log on to the website. At the same time, Standard Life introduced a second website that it believes will change the way plan sponsors do business.
“I feel, as do our clients, that the new VIP Room for plan members should position Standard Life very favourably in the market,” said Anthony Cardone, Senior Vice-President, Group Savings and Retirement of Standard Life. “We have leveraged Standard Life’s expertise in group savings and retirement that we have developed over the years and used the latest technology to meet needs that our clients and benefit consultants have expressed. We have not simply updated the existing site; we have created a whole new way for members to manage their retirement assets. And this is only the beginning. We will be introducing new features regularly in the months ahead.”
Standard Life’s VIP Room is designed to motivate and involve plan members in the retirement planning process and to keep them coming back. It is interactive, flexible and user-friendly.
Personalized web experience with new site
Standard Life’s new VIP Room for plan members incorporates the latest in technological upgrades, security enhancements and user adaptability. The site is protected and accessible only to members of Standard Life group savings and retirement plans. Members can easily customize their home page, monitor their investments, seek guidance, understand income needs and gaps, and be more proactive in building their retirement assets, all with a few clicks.
The website integrates Standard Life’s award-winning education and communication program Plan for life(TM), an interactive program that members of defined contribution group retirement plans use to manage their financial affairs and their retirement, from the moment they enrol in the plan, to retirement.
Clear market need
A recent survey of Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP)(1) members in Canada clearly indicated that people tend to neglect their retirement planning, underestimate how much they will need at retirement and do not understand the planning process. For example, although 63% of CAP members had reviewed their statements in the year under review, many of them did nothing to align their retirement plans with their needs.
Recent statistics(2) also indicate that in North America, the Internet has become an established way of doing business, with Internet penetration at 71%, growing at a rate of almost 120% in the period between 2000 and 2007.
Considering market research, including consultations with its clients and benefit consultants, Standard Life saw an opportunity to better equip people to plan for the future by developing an innovative online service to meet their needs.
Second website for plan sponsors offers whole new way of doing business
The VIP Room for plan sponsors is designed to save them time and offer them cost-effective administrative solutions. It offers them one-stop access to information and self-service features that allow them to devote their efforts to helping their members.
The new site allows sponsors to make full use of the platform to submit contributions electronically, analyze performance data, provide allocation instructions for forfeited amounts, consult reference information online, and download reports and member information. It offers plan sponsors the possibility to do online member pre-enrolment and termination, as well as authorize access to certain protected areas of the site to their administrative staff.
“The new VIP Room for sponsors will help increase our clients’ productivity,” added Mr. Cardone. “It allows them to streamline their business practices, handle all routine tasks online and yet maintain strong personal contact with Standard Life personnel to obtain value-added advice. Plan sponsors not only have access to our representatives, but they can now take advantage of this online channel to benefit from Standard Life’s expertise.”
About Standard Life
In 2008, Standard Life, the first life insurance company to transact business in Canada, marks its 175th year of operations. With 10,000 employees globally, Standard Life plc is a major international financial services group headquartered in Scotland. It provides asset-managing services for retirement, investment and protection to some seven million customers globally. It has offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and China, including Hong Kong.
The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc’s largest operation outside the U.K., with 2,000 employees based in Montreal and across Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and pension plan participants. (www.standardlife.ca)
Standard Life plc has approximately 1.5 million shareholders worldwide, including approximately 14,000 institutional and individual shareholders in Canada. It has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since The Standard Life Assurance Company demutualized in 2006. Standard Life plc is listed on the FTSE 100, Europe’s largest index, and on the FTSE4Good Index, which identifies companies adhering to globally recognized corporate responsibility standards. (www.standardlife.com).