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Be a Friend of Pension Quality Mark

25 March 2010

On the day that four more schemes were awarded the Pension Quality Mark, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has
launched a new initiative to recognise the advisers and providers who are helping to make the award such a success.

One in five Pension Quality Mark applications are being made by advisers on behalf of schemes and many more applications are made
with their support. From today, pension consultants, advisers, providers and IFAs who raise awareness of the Pension Quality Mark or help clients with applications, will be able to become a ‘Friend of Pension Quality Mark’. The initiative has been launched to recognise the welcome
support that Pension Quality Mark is receiving from the pensions industry and encourage a further boost to applications for awards.

Joanne Segars, NAPF Chief Executive said
“Pension Quality Mark does not only benefit employees and employers, it is good news for the whole pensions industry. We are delighted that so many pension providers, consultants and advisers already recognise the benefits of the Mark and are encouraging clients to apply.
“The launch of Friends of Pension Quality Mark will mean these companies will get the recognition they deserve, and I encourage more to follow suit.”

The latest four schemes to achieve the Pension Quality Mark are Saffron Building Society Stakeholder Pension Scheme, Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers Pension Scheme, Discovery Communications GPP and Provident Financial Stakeholder Pension Plan and takes the number of schemes awarded the Pension Quality Mark to 42.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Friends of Pension Quality Mark Agreement Friends of Pension Quality Mark must agree to:
    Explain and promote Pension Quality Mark in the literature and communications provided to employers and schemes.
    Promote Pension Quality Mark to employers and schemes at events and in presentations.
  2. Help clients get information about Pension Quality Mark, understand whether they meet the standards, and to make applications.
    Maintain regular contact with the Pension Quality Mark Executive about Pension Quality Mark issues.
  3. Champion the Pension Quality Mark scheme and Pension Quality Mark standards publicly and use Friend of Pension Quality Mark logo on relevant material.
  4. Each Friend will receive a certificate when they sign the Agreement and can use the Friends logo on their letterhead and literature.
    Friends of Pension Quality Mark is not a commercial agreement and there is no fee or charge for becoming a Friend.
  5. The NAPF or Pension Quality Mark does not endorse the products of services of any Friend and all Pension Quality Mark applicants will be treated equally whether they are a client of a Friend of Pension Quality Mark or not.
  6. The Pension Quality Mark and Pension Quality Mark PLUS is available to any employer whose DC pension scheme (whether occupational DC schemes, group personal pensions, group stakeholder pensions and, from 2012, Personal Accounts) meets three basic criteria on contribution rates, governance and communications:
    Contributions: contributions of 10% must be available, with at least 6% (double the 2012 statutory minimum) paid by the employer. If contributions are 15%, with at least 10% from the employer, then schemes can apply for a
    Pension Quality Mark PLUS. The Standard takes account of different contribution formulas, eg fixed, matching, age and service-related.
    Governance: governance arrangements must be in place to ensure that the scheme is operating in the best interests of members. This can take a variety of forms including trust boards, management committees and an annual scheme review.
    Communications: the scheme must provide clear and simple information to members when they join the scheme and thereafter.
    Further information about teh Pension QWuality Mark and full details of all schemes who have achieved the Pension Quality Mark are available at
    http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk  

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