Group Pensions Administration Service

  1. Introduction
  2. Registration
  3. Getting Started
  4. Scheme
  5. Sites
  6. Sub-Schemes
  7. Sections
  8. Expense factors
  9. Fixed Investment Links
  10. Member Details
  11. Investment Benefit Contributions
  12. Regular Investment Links Enquiry
  13. Adhoc Investment Links Enquiry
  14. Member Level Life Cover Benefits
  15. Member Level Life Cover Benefit Contribution History
  16. Add Member
  17. Add Investment Benefit
  18. Change Investment Links
  19. Edit Member
  20. Transfer Member To Different Site
  21. Switch/Change Investment Link
  22. Deferred Switch Enquiry
  23. Policy Value Illustration
  24. Retirement Illustration
  25. Leaving Service Illustration
  26. Retirement Termination
  27. Leaving Service Termination
  28. Death Termination
  29. Printed Illustrations
 

Introduction

This facility is called the “Equitable Life Group Pensions Administration Service” and provides the group pensions clients of The Equitable Life Assurance Society with access to the pension system used to administer their scheme and member records, over the Internet. To gain access to the service, there are effectively three levels of security. Only once all three levels of security have been passed will users have access to the Administration Service. To gain optimum functionality of the facility the minimum browser requirements are Internet Explorer version 4 or higher and Netscape Navigator version 4.50 or higher. It is also recommended that the screen resolution used is 1024 x 768. (This facility will not operate correctly if Netscape Navigator version 4.50 is used with a screen resolution of 800 x 600).

Before using this facility, you should ensure that your browser settings are set to view newer page versions automatically, ahead of any stored versions of the same page. This can be done by following the instructions below :

  1. For Internet Explorer, select "Tools" (from the toolbar at the top of the Browser window) followed by "Internet Options". A separate window should then open up. Within this window, choose the "General" tab, then go to the "Temporary Internet Files" section and click on the "Settings" button. A second window should then open, at the top of which will be the "Check for newer versions of stored pages" setting - this should be set to "Automatically". Click the "OK" button on both windows to apply the update.

  2. For Netscape Navigator, select "Edit" (from the toolbar at the top of the Browser window) followed by "Preferences". A window should then open up containing a file tree on the left hand side. Expand the "Advanced" branch and select "Cache". A range of settings should then appear on the right hand side, one of which will be the "Document in cache is compared to document on network" setting. This should be set to "Every time". Click the "OK" button on the window to apply the update.

Registration

All users of this service must be registered before access can be granted. The main client contact should request a registration form, from their usual contact for administration matters. This form asks clients to send details of the names and initials of staff they wish to have access to the Internet facility, and the appropriate level of function access for each user. Clients will also need to define the scheme number(s) of the scheme(s) that they wish to be made accessible. Once the registration details are returned to us, we will confirm the user names, passwords and authorisation code, to the main client contact.

Please note it is not essential for all users to have access to all the listed schemes. User profiles can be tailored to suit the clients needs in terms of function access and scheme access.

 

Getting Started

Each time you login you will be presented with a list of all the schemes to which you are allowed access. By selecting a scheme, you can view the details of this scheme and the details of any members within this scheme. If a further scheme is required you should return to the scheme list and select another. All of the main functions within this service - scheme structure enquiries and member servicing - start from selecting a scheme and branching from it.
 

Scheme

Each scheme has specific details established based upon clients requirements. Any changes to these details should be forwarded to the usual contact for administration matters for them to process.  
 

Details

Scheme Name and number
Scheme Standard Reference
Administration Unit number - (Refer to "Contact Us" for specific administration contact details)
Anniversary date
Commencement date
Benefit statement and accounts
Payment distribution
PSO details
 

Sites

Sites are created to allow the grouping of members for the purpose of contribution billing and benefit statement distribution. If billing is from a central source and benefit statements are required to be distributed centrally, members will be added to a central site. There is no facility to delete unwanted sites, therefore it may be possible to view unused sites.
 

Details

Site name
Site contact name and address
Site Payee for terminations
Site payment method (Cheque or BACS)
BACS payment details if appropriate
 

Sub-Schemes

Each scheme has at least one sub-scheme. Sub schemes are used to group members together that have similar member specifics, such as normal retirement date and death in service details.

Certain member details are specific to the sub-scheme which the member is attached to. If these details are no longer relevant, refer this to your usual contact for administration matters, so that they can place the member in an appropriate sub-scheme.

If a new sub-scheme needs to be created, this will again require the assistance of your normal contact for administration matters.

There is no facility to delete unwanted sub-schemes, therefore it may be possible to view unused sub-schemes.

 

Details

Members normal retirement age and retirement date
Free cover limit
Scheme level life cover details
 

Sections

Each scheme will have one or more sections. Sections are used to group together members. Members could potentially be in one or more of these sections.
 

Details

Section type and name
Section status
Section commencement date
SCON
PSO details
Lifestyle+
 

Expense Factors

Investment contributions allocated could have an expense charge deducted and/or an annual management charge deducted.

The expense factors for a scheme are held at two levels dependent upon billing structure. If the scheme is centrally billed, the expense factors will be held at “scheme” level and can be viewed from the "section" list. If the scheme is billed at “site” level the expense factors will be held on each site.

The expense factors are calculated and set by the Society, based upon the scheme contribution history and are reviewed on a regular basis.

The with-profits factor is the percentage deducted for expenses from each contribution, being invested in the Equitable with-profits fund.

The unit-linked factor is an enhancement to contributions invested in unit-linked funds to allow the difference between the bid and offer prices to be the equivalent of the with-profits expense factor.

 

Details

Effective date of last expense factors and history
With-profits and unit-linked expense factors
Annual management charge (if applicable)
 

Fixed Investment Links

Clients may choose to create a default investment route for contributions for the scheme, which can be different across sub-schemes, sections and benefit types. The fixed investment links are detailed at two levels:

1. A high level which splits the funds down between with-profits, unit-linked, Lifestyle+ and Deposit Account, and must add up to 100%.

2. A low level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%.
(Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).

 

Details

Investment link status
Start and End date of investment link
Investment link split
 

Member Details

Each member record will have personal member information. Not all the input fields will be populated as not all the information is necessary.
 

Details

Member status
Site number
Sub scheme number
Member, National Insurance and Additional member numbers
Member name
Salary
Sex, date of birth, and normal retirement date
Date joined scheme
Member address
Divorce indicator
 

Investment Benefit Contributions

Contribution history details each contribution received for a member, split between benefit type. Values derived from internal transfers are also detailed. The Society processed an archive of contribution data at 31 December 1992, therefore with-profits contributions received before this date will not be itemised.
 

Details

Receipt date of contribution
Amount per benefit
 

Regular Investment Links Enquiry

The initial investment of member contributions are specified by a member on their application form. The initial investment links can be amended subsequently by member instruction to the scheme trustees. These investment links determine the percentage split of each contribution received, between the various investment funds. The pension funds allowable for investment by the scheme members are determined by the scheme trustees.

Regular investment links detail, for each benefit, a history of the contribution investment rules. The member investment links are detailed at two levels,

1. A high level which splits the funds down between with-profits, unit-linked, Deposit Account and Lifestyle+ and must add up to 100%
2. A low level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%.
(Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
 

Details

Start and End date of investment link
Investment link split
 

Adhoc Investment Links Enquiry

Adhoc investment links detail the contribution investment rules for a one off payment. These links are used specifically when the regular contribution investment rules are not required for a lump sum payment. The adhoc investment links are detailed at two levels,
1. A higher level which splits the funds down between with-profits, unit-linked, Deposit Account and Lifestyle+ and must add up to 100%
2. A lower level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%.
(Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
 

Details

Receipt date of the one off contribution
Contribution investment link split
 

Member Level Life Cover Benefits

Member life cover enquiry displays details a member’s death in service cover.
 

Details

Benefit status
Effective date of cover
Sum assured
Annual premium and renewal premium
Frequency of premiums
Premiums received and premiums due
 

Member Level Life Cover Benefit Contribution History

Member level life cover benefit contribution history details each life cover contribution received for a member, split between benefit type.

The Society processed an archive of contribution data at 31 December 1992, therefore contributions received before this date will not be itemised.

 

Details

Receipt date of premium
Amount per benefit
 

Add Member

Add member allows a members record to be created and is the first of three stages needed to create a member record in full, as follows :
1. Add Member
2. Add Investment Benefits
3. Change Investment Links (only necessary if common investment link is not appropriate for the members choice of investment).
 

Details

The following critical information should be input:
*Member number or National Insurance number or both (One of these will be the unique identification key, as set at scheme level).
*Members surname and forenames or initials
Sex
*Date of birth
*Date joined scheme (not essential for AVC schemes)
Employment commenced (not essential for AVC schemes)
 
The following information can be input but is not critical:
*Members title (Mr, Mrs, Dr etc)
Additional member number
Qualifications
Current pensionable pay
Spouses date of birth
Divorce indicator
*Address
 
* These items will be displayed on a member’s annual benefit statement.
 

Add Investment Benefit

Once a member has been created the appropriate benefits need to be added to the member record. The add investment benefit transaction allows benefits to be added to an existing record.
This is the second of three stages needed to create a member record in full, as follows :
1. Add Member
2. Add Investment Benefits
3. Change Investment Links (only necessary if common investment link is not appropriate for the members choice of investment).
 

Details

Fixed investment link indicator for benefit
Benefit Status
 

Change Investment Links

The investment of a member’s contributions are detailed by a member on their application form. These investment links determine the percentage split of each contribution received, between the various investment funds. The pension funds allowable for investment by the scheme members are determined by the scheme trustees.

The change investment link transaction allows member’s existing investment links to be displayed, altered and created. Each member benefit has its own investment link rules and can be changed independently of other benefits.

Existing investment links must not be amended retrospectively if contributions have already been applied using those investment links, in these circumstances any changes should be referred to your usual contact. New investment links can be created irrespective of previous contributions. The member investment links are detailed at two levels,

1. A high level which splits the funds down between with-profits, unit-linked, Deposit Account and Lifestyle+ and must add up to 100%
2. A low level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%.
(Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
 

Details

Investment link percentages, high and low level
Start and end date of investment links
 

Edit Member

Edit member details allow personal member information to be updated. Not all the input fields will be populated as not all the information is necessary for all members.
 

Details

Member status (not amendable)
Site name and number (amendable via “Transfer member to different site”)
Sub scheme name and number (amendable via “Transfer member to different sub-scheme”)
Member and National Insurance number (the members unique id is not amendable via this transaction - where a change is needed, please get in touch with your normal contact).
Additional member numbers
Member name
Salary
Sex and date of birth
Normal retirement date (automatically amended if the sex or date of birth is amended)
Date joined scheme
Member address
 

Transfer Member To Different Site

When member records are first created, they need to be attached to a specific site, central or otherwise. If a member transfers between existing sites, this facility allows the member record to be moved.

If a new site needs to be created refer to your usual contact.

 

Switch/Change Investment Link

Member’s investments can be switched from their existing funds to other allowable funds. The pension funds allowable for investment by the scheme members, are determined by the scheme trustees. Through the website, funds can only be switched from one fund to another by using a percentage of the values. However, if you would like to switch a certain value or a specific number of units then please communicate with your normal contact.
 

Switch instructions received before 5.00 pm on any working day are currently carried out at the fund prices at the next working day.

Switch instructions received after 5.00 pm on any working day are currently carried out at the fund prices at the next working day plus one.

Switch instructions received on a weekend or English Bank or Public Holiday are currently carried out at the fund prices at the next working day plus one.

 

The process will automatically work out the fund price date for the switch based upon the date and time the instructions are recorded.

The switch transaction also allows the user to move to the Change Investment Link transaction once the switch has been completed.

 

Details

The number of units and value of a members current fund holding
 

Deferred Switch Enquiry

All switches processed will be deferred by the service until the appropriate fund prices are available, which will generally be on the following night's batch run, but may take up to two working days. All switches can be viewed before they are completed, using this transaction. Please note only switches processed by you will be displayed.
 

Details

Switch effective date
Member name
Policy and benefit number
User
Status
Details of the fund values, units and percentages of the switch
 

Policy Value Illustration

This transaction allows a member's current fund to be displayed as an equivalent cash value. The effective date can be altered to a date 6 months in the future, and the values will be projected on current rates to that date (unit-linked funds will be the value at current date only).

With-profits value - Each plan has a fund value which broadly represents its share of the assets in the With-profits fund. This fund value is not necessarily the amount which would be payable if the policy were terminated.

Any final bonus included in the total value of With-profits is shown for illustration purposes only and is not guaranteed.

A locally printed illustration can be produced at the end of this transaction. The printing of this illustration is covered in the section Printed Illustrations below.

 

Details

Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
 

Retirement Illustration

This transaction allows a member's fund to be illustrated for retirement benefits. The effective date should be altered to the member’s actual retirement date. This date can be amended to a date 6 months in the future, and the values projected on current rates to that date (unit-linked funds will be the value at current date only).

Illustrated retirement benefits are only guaranteed in certain circumstances. Refer to the notes contained within the printed illustration for further details.

The fund value calculated can be used to illustrate an annuity on current annuity rates or as cash. The retirement benefits illustrated must conform to current legislation and limits. If several annuity types are required, the transaction should be processed separately for each different annuity type.

A locally printed illustration is produced at the end of this transaction. The printing of this illustration is covered in the section Printed Illustrations below.

 

Details

Fund values and contribution can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
Protected and non-protected values
Annuity values

Note

Overlap = Y If a member were to die within the guarantee period, the remaining instalments would be paid as a lump sum, and the spouse’s pension would commence on the next due date, providing the spouse were surviving at the date of death.
Overlap = N If a member were to die within the guarantee period, the remaining instalments would continue to the end of the guaranteed period with the spouse’s pension commencing at the end of the period, providing the spouse were surviving
 

Leaving Service Illustration

This transaction allows a member's current fund to be illustrated upon leaving service.

With-profits value - The value shown is the surrender value and includes an allowance for the current financial adjustment. The surrender value may change at any time and is not guaranteed.

A locally printed illustration is produced at the end of this transaction. The printing of this illustration is covered in the section Printed Illustrations below.

 

Details

Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
 

Retirement Termination

This transaction allows a member's fund to be terminated for retirement benefits. The effective date should be altered to the member’s actual retirement date. This date must not be in the future. The fund value calculated can be used to purchase an annuity on current annuity rates or released as cash. The retirement benefits calculated must conform to current legislation and limits.

Payments will always be made to the default payee and address as shown on the site details. Once a termination has been completed, the “Get In Touch” facility should be used to notify the administration staff that there is a termination awaiting authorisation.

 

Details

Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
Protected and non-protected values
Annuity values

Note

Overlap = Y If a member were to die within the guarantee period, the remaining instalments would be paid as a lump sum, and the spouse’s pension would commence on the next due date, providing the spouse were surviving at the date of death.
Overlap = N If a member were to die within the guarantee period, the remaining instalments would continue to the end of the guaranteed period with the spouse’s pension commencing at the end of the period, providing the spouse were surviving.
 

Leaving Service Termination

This transaction allows a member's fund to be released in respect of transfer (for deferred benefits) withdrawal, and also the production of a member's preserved benefit statement. Payments will always be made to the default payee and address as shown on the site details. Once a payment has been completed, the “Get In Touch “ facility should be used to notify the administration staff that there is a payment awaiting authorisation.
 

Details

Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
 

Death Termination

This transaction allows a member's fund to be released in respect of death benefits where a member has invested benefits but no insured benefits. Where a member has insured benefits then please get in touch with your normal contact.

Payments will always be made to the default payee and address as shown on the site details. Once a payment has been completed, the “Get In Touch “ facility should be used to notify the administration staff that there is a payment awaiting authorisation.

 

Details

Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.
Protected and non-protected values
 

Printed Illustrations

Printing through this site is enabled using a special browser plug-in that allows documents to be viewed within the browser and then, if required, printed to a local printer. This plug-in can be downloaded via a link from the Equitable Group Administration Service home page. Download time and installation will be dependent on the speed of your network link to the Internet, but typically downloads should complete in 3 to 5 minutes. Once installed, it is not necessary to reinstall the software each time a print is required.

For those transactions that produce a printed illustration, you will be notified that the request has been initiated. Production of the print typically takes 10 to 20 seconds depending on system activity. A “Prints” tab will appear when any prints are available. Selecting the “Prints“ tab will show a list of all the illustrations requested by you. Prints are retained for 24 hours and can be printed again at any time. They will be cleared from the list 24 hours after the process time.