> Specialist Outlook> Providing welfare services and support to scheme members
Once a pension scheme member retires, it can be difficult for the pension scheme to ensure the continued welfare of their retirees. Ironically, it is often at this stage that members are most in need of a friendly ear and reliable advice. Retirement can often leave the individual feeling set adrift and can raise many questions, including where to turn for support and guidance, and how to find answers they can trust. But budget and time restraints can make provision of continued welfare services by the scheme or company itself, impractical and costly.
A number of the pension schemes that we work with tell us that in an ideal world, they would provide welfare services in-house to all retired members. However, the current economic climate and a lack of staff resources can force retired members' welfare down the list of priorities.Most of the trustees that we work with are interested in fulfilling their corporate responsibility in ensuring that retired members have the support that they desire. Many are looking for ways to allow them to provide these services in a cost-effective manner.As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners exists to help and support all pensioners, offering support and advice to members of occupational pension schemes. NFOP currently provides welfare services to members of some of the UK's largest occupational pension schemes, including BT, Royal Mail, British Steel and Kingfisher. Depending on the size and needs of the pension scheme, we can provide services to your members, at little or no cost to the scheme. Fundamental to service delivery is choosing a membership package that fulfils the needs of your organisation and the scheme members, and NFOP can give you several different options to choose from.NFOP already receives deductions from pension payments from existing member schemes on a monthly basis. If this is a viable option for the organisation, deductions from the members' pension can be set up with the scheme provider.Established in the 1930s, NFOP is now the oldest and largest occupational pensioner organisation in the UK. The Federation has over 80,000 members and a national network of 180 local social groups. With over 80 years' experience looking after members of large schemes, NFOP has established a number of good relationships with professional advisers and service providers, enabling us to offer members free access to a panel of experts who can assist your pension scheme members.These contacts provide initial advice in their relevant field, guiding members as to the best course of action for a successful resolution to the particular problem at hand. Access to the select panel of experts is unlimited for the duration of active membership, allowing members to feel confident that help is available.NFOP acts as a support hub for pension scheme members. Our aim is to deal with your members' questions and problems, before they become more serious. Members will be directed to either the right scheme department or one of the Federation's helpline contacts, whichever is the most appropriate.We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to create a service package that meets the needs of both the scheme and your members. We would be happy to discuss in more depth and the options available to ensure the service package is tailored to match your requirements.
Biography of Malcolm BoothMalcolm is the Chief Executive Officer at NFOP. He has been with the organisation since 2007, initially as the Deputy CEO and Treasurer. Before joining NFOP, Malcolm spent 25 years in the retail arm of Barclays Bank followed by eight years with the Foresters Friendly Society. This prior experience enables him to provide NFOP with a broad knowledge in financial matters, as well as guidance and support to its members. Malcolm's aim is to ensure the Federation retains its pre-eminent position as a voice for those with a company pension.
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