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Cutting pension costs is employers' number one priority

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Almost nine out of 10 employers (89%) think their number one pensions priority will be to reduce costs.

As a result of cost-cutting measures a third of employers are reviewing their outsourcing strategy.

But the report from Hewitt Associates showed other key targets for pension schemes will be to improve the quality of administration (69%), sustain activity (62%) and meet regulatory requirements (40%).

Sustaining employee activity in pensions is viewed by a quarter of respondents to be their biggest pressure and improving quality is the single biggest pressure for 11%.

Ian Terry, pension administration business development manager at Hewitt Associates, said: "As with any service industry, members' expectations of service continue to rise inexorably. As schemes close and the number of active members decreases, there is increased pressure to provide the means to stay in touch through more use of self-service solutions. It is essential not to alienate members through slow, difficult to access, mediocre or poor service.

"The reality is that four in 10 schemes still do not use a website to provide information to members and only one in four schemes provides individual members access to their personal benefit records via a website. Providing web solutions which allow members to access information easily, to make transactions, to manage their investments and to model future benefits at their convenience, improves the service experience and also potentially reduces the costs of administration."