Issue - meetings

Pensions Administration report

Meeting: 25/11/2021 - Pension Committee (Item 56)

56 Pensions Administration report pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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56.1.    The Committee considered a report providing an update on matters relating to Pensions Administration activities.

56.2.    The Committee’s discussion included the following key issues: 

·         Performance has improved for October 2021, with the call answered within 20 seconds Key Performance Indicator (KPI) increasing to 64% and call abandonment rate falling to 9%.

·         The Helpline is still run by Surrey County Council as part of the Orbis service, with around 4 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) posts covering the ESPF. The number of contacts with the Helpline is as follows: July 2,737, August 2,270, September 2,336, and October 2,024. Out of these, 61% are via email, for example, for October there were 767 telephone calls, 1,241 emails and 16 call backs. This amounts to 20-25 items of correspondence dealt with per staff member per day.

·         The Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) does not trigger people to contact the helpdesk with specific questions about the ABS, however, it does drive general pension correspondence by reminding people that they may have an issue with their pension that they need to report, for example, updating their marriage status.

·         Whilst the ESPF helpdesk is part of Orbis, since October ESPF members contact it via a separate website and telephone line. There is not currently a live chat facility but this and other improvements will be investigated by the Fund’s communications manager once they are appointed. I-Connect and the use of robotics is also expected to improve performance of the service and deal with more basic queries, with the Pensions Administration Team (PAT) eventually being a last resort to deal with complex calculations and questions.

·         There are eight vacancies within the PAT. The team is working to resolve final job evaluation and team structural issues to enable recruitment to these vacancies to be completed. The use of robotics – signed off by the East Sussex County Council Corporate ICT service – will also help with the capacity of the PAT once they are developed.

·         The PAT staff are generally happy working from home and have remained as productive as when they were in the office. The ESCC corporate guidelines currently require staff to work from home unless there is a need to be in the office. This will eventually switch to hybrid working with at least one day per week in the office, although not until the current COVID-19 guidelines are reviewed in January. The PAT will process map its strategic needs and develop a team agreement based on a hybrid way of working that is best for the Team.

56.3.    The Committee RESOLVED to note the report.