Report to:

Pension Board


8 February 2023


Chief Finance Officer


Communications Report



To inform the Board of communication activity delivered since the previous meeting


The Pension Board is recommended to note the report

1.         Background

1.1       This report is brought to the Pension Board to provide an update on communication tasks that directly affect the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF or the Fund).

1.2       The Fund has a Communications Strategy which defines the main means of communication we provide for our key stakeholders. This includes making the best use of technology where appropriate, to provide quicker and more efficient communications for the Fund's stakeholders. The Fund will ensure that communication methods are accessible to all.

2.         Newsletters

2.1       All newsletters now sit on the respective pages of website, promoted via web call outs/banners. They are also available via the Forms and publications menu of the website.

2.2       An employer newsletter was issued in early-December 2022 with all relevant employers emailed. Direct link to latest employer newsletter below.

Employer: This had 45 views from 13 Dec to 31 Dec with an average view time of 2m 09s.

2.3       An active member newsletter was issued in early-December 2022 via email. Direct link to latest active member newsletter below.


This had 3,383 views from 13 Dec to 31 Dec with an average view time of 2m 37s.

2.4       A deferred member newsletter was issued in early-December 2022 via email. Direct link to latest active member newsletter below.


This had 2,109 views from 8 Dec to 31 Dec with an average view time of 2m 16s.

3.         Website

3.1       Work continues to ensure we always have relevant, engaging content on the website:

·                     Homepage – recent additions to the homepage include a banner reassuring member that their benefits are safe following the recent turmoil in the investment markets and a piece on the ‘cost of living crisis’ and how the LGPS can help

·                     Paying-in page – The page now includes Newsletters, Survey results, Guides (members asked for simple information in the survey results) and general information to support active members of the Fund.

·                     Pensioners page – similar enhancements to active members.

·                     Employer page – content refined including promotion of newsletter, employer forum and updates made to iConnect and McCloud data collection.

·                     Member self-service – Following negative feedback on registration, lost usernames/passwords there is now a new page to support members

·                     Investment –  new versions of the Q3/2022 ESG statement and Statement on Israel and the Occupied Territories have been published.

3.2       The Fund continues to work with Hymans so we can make better use of website analytics. Web analytics is the collection, reporting, and analysis of website data. Better data will allow us to determine the success or failure of what we do and to drive strategy and improve the user's experience. We only have reliable stats from May 22 to Dec 22 on the current version of the website. Previously (on the old website) a report was done looking at key metrics. This is useful to compare to where we are now:

2020 Total unique visitors = 9,252

2022 Total unique visitors (May to Dec) = 27,391

2020 Total page views = approx. 16,000

2022 Total page views (May to Dec) = approx. 70,000

4.            Forms

4.1       The Fund recently updated all member and employer forms, updating the

content, ensuring they are accessible to all and to ensure correct branding. There are now two types of forms available:


·         Standard PDF to print off and complete by hand

·         Editable PDF to complete data fields electronically (new option)

By the end of January 2023 the final forms ‘Ill Health Certificates’ will have been changed and uploaded to the website.

Examples of the forms here - Forms and Publications | East Sussex Pension Fund

5.            ‘My Pension’ – member self-service


5.1          There have been a number of changes made to ‘My Pension’ across active, deferred and pensioner member views.

5.2       In the short to medium term Heywoods are working on a new-look, modernised version of MSS – something they currently call Transformational Member Experience. But it was felt that there were some quick wins that would really help ESPF members on the version of MSS we have available today.

5.3       Changes included:

1)    Removal of menus that had no functional use.

2)    Removal of fields that had no value to the user.

3)    Placement of correct logos.

4)    Use of sentence case type where appropriate.

5)    Improved explanations/instructions throughout (for example – benefit projectors).

These changes went live in early 2023.


6.            Employer Forum


6.1          East Sussex Pension Fund were delighted to host this year's Employer Forum in person at the Amex Stadium on the 24 November 2022. The Forum helped provide training and guidance relating to the Local Government Pension Scheme for employers. The feedback was very positive.


Employer Forum | East Sussex Pension Fund

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7.            Employer Toolkit

7.1          Following the Forum we launched a brand new Employer Toolkit. We appreciate that sometimes it can seem daunting being an employer in the LGPS. What with complying with regulation, meeting deadlines, understanding processes, supporting employees, data submission and much more. That is why we provideda Toolkit for all employers of East Sussex Pension Fund to help point them in the right direction. See our webpage to find out more.

8.            Supporting other Fund communications work


8.1          The Communications Manager continues to support officers in other areas:

- implementing revised brand, simplifying content, and ensuring accessibility guidelines are adhered to.

- Funding Strategy Statement consultation process, provisional employer contribution reports and Annual Report and Accounts


9.         Conclusion

9.1       Pension Board are recommended to note this report.



Chief Finance Officer


Contact Officer:


Tim Hillman, Pensions Manager Employer Engagement