Group Schemes

Group Scheme Hints and Tips

Group Pensions Administration Service

1. Introduction
2. Registration
3. Getting Started
4. Scheme
5. Sites
6. Sub-Schemes
7. Sections
8. Expense Factors
9. Fixed Investment Links
10. Member Details
11. Investment Benefit Contributions
12. Regular Investment Links Enquiry
13. Adhoc Investment Links Enquiry
14. Member Level Life Cover Benefits
15. Member Level Life Cover Benefit Contribution History
16. Leaving Service Illustration
17. Printed Illustrations


1. Introduction
This facility is called the “Equitable Life Group Pensions Administration Service” and provides the group pensions clients of The Equitable Life Assurance Society with access to the pension system used to administer their scheme and member records, over the Internet.
To gain access to the service, there are effectively three levels of security. Only once all three levels of security have been passed will users have access to the Administration Service. To gain optimum functionality of the facility the minimum browser requirements are Internet Explorer version 4 or higher and Netscape Navigator version 4.50 or higher. It is also recommended that the screen resolution used is 1024 x 768. (This facility will not operate correctly if Netscape Navigator version 4.50 is used with a screen resolution of 800 x 600).

Before using this facility, you should ensure that your browser settings are set to view newer page versions automatically, ahead of any stored versions of the same page. This can be done by following the instructions below :

  • For Internet Explorer, select "Tools" (from the toolbar at the top of the Browser window) followed by "Internet Options". A separate window should then open up. Within this window, choose the "General" tab, then go to the "Temporary Internet Files" section and click on the "Settings" button. A second window should then open, at the top of which will be the "Check for newer versions of stored pages" setting - this should be set to "Automatically". Click the "OK" button on both windows to apply the update.
  • For Netscape Navigator, select "Edit" (from the toolbar at the top of the Browser window) followed by "Preferences". A window should then open up containing a file tree on the left hand side. Expand the "Advanced" branch and select "Cache". A range of settings should then appear on the right hand side, one of which will be the "Document in cache is compared to document on network" setting. This should be set to "Every time". Click the "OK" button on the window to apply the update.

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2. Registration
All users of this service must be registered before access can be granted. The main client contact should request a registration form, from their usual contact for administration matters. This form asks clients to send details of the names and initials of staff they wish to have access to the Internet facility, and the appropriate level of function access for each user. Clients will also need to define the scheme number(s) of the scheme(s) that they wish to be made accessible. Once the registration details are returned to us, we will confirm the user names, passwords and authorisation code, to the main client contact.

Please note it is not essential for all users to have access to all the listed schemes. User profiles can be tailored to suit the clients needs in terms of function access and scheme access.

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3. Getting Started
Each time you login you will be presented with a list of all the schemes to which you are allowed access. By selecting a scheme, you can view the details of this scheme and the details of any members within this scheme. If a further scheme is required you should return to the scheme list and select another. All of the main functions within this service - scheme structure enquiries and member servicing - start from selecting a scheme and branching from it.

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4. Scheme
Each scheme has specific details established based upon clients requirements. Any changes to these details should be forwarded to the usual contact for administration matters for them to process.

  • Details
  • Scheme Name and number
  • Scheme Standard Reference
  • Administration Unit number - (Refer to "Contact Us" for specific administration contact details)
  • Anniversary date
  • Commencement date
  • Benefit statement and accounts
  • Payment distribution
  • PSO details

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5. Sites
Sites are created to allow the grouping of members for the purpose of contribution billing and benefit statement distribution. If billing is from a central source and benefit statements are required to be distributed centrally, members will be added to a central site. There is no facility to delete unwanted sites, therefore it may be possible to view unused sites.

  • Details
  • Site Name
  • Site contact name and address
  • Site Payee for terminations
  • Site payment method (Cheque or BACS)
  • BACS payment details if appropriate

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6. Sub-Schemes
Each scheme has at least one sub-scheme. Sub schemes are used to group members together that have similar member specifics, such as normal retirement date and death in service details.

Certain member details are specific to the sub-scheme which the member is attached to. If these details are no longer relevant, refer this to your usual contact for administration matters, so that they can place the member in an appropriate sub-scheme.

If a new sub-scheme needs to be created, this will again require the assistance of your normal contact for administration matters.

There is no facility to delete unwanted sub-schemes, therefore it may be possible to view unused sub-schemes.

  • Details
  • Members normal retirement age and retirement date
  • Free cover limit
  • Scheme level life cover details

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7. Sections
Each scheme will have one or more sections. Sections are used to group together members. Members could potentially be in one or more of these sections.

  • Details
  • Section type and name
  • Section status
  • Section commencement date
  • SCON
  • PSO details
  • Lifestyle+

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8. Expense Factors
Investment contributions allocated could have an expense charge deducted and/or an annual management charge deducted.

The expense factors for a scheme are held at two levels dependent upon billing structure. If the scheme is centrally billed, the expense factors will be held at “scheme” level and can be viewed from the "section" list. If the scheme is billed at “site” level the expense factors will be held on each site.

The expense factors are calculated and set by the Society, based upon the scheme contribution history and are reviewed on a regular basis.

The with-profits factor is the percentage deducted for expenses from each contribution, being invested in the Equitable with-profits fund.

The unit-linked factor is an enhancement to contributions invested in unit-linked funds to allow the difference between the bid and offer prices to be the equivalent of the with-profits expense factor.

  • Details
  • Effective date of last expense factors and history
  • With-profits and unit-linked expense factors
  • Annual management charge (if applicable)

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9. Fixed Investment Links
Clients may choose to create a default investment route for contributions for the scheme, which can be different across sub-schemes, sections and benefit types. The fixed investment links are detailed at two levels:

  • A high level which splits the funds down between with-profits and unit-linked and must add up to 100%.
  • A low level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%. (Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
  • Details
  • Investment link status
  • Start and End date of investment link
  • Investment link split

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10. Member Details
Each member record will have personal member information. Not all the input fields will be populated as not all the information is necessary.

  • Details
  • Member status
  • Site number
  • Sub scheme number
  • Member, National Insurance and Additional member numbers
  • Member name
  • Salary
  • Sex, date of birth, and normal retirement date
  • Date joined scheme
  • Member address
  • Divorce indicator

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11. Investment Benefit Contributions
Contribution history details each contribution received for a member, split between benefit type. Values derived from internal transfers are also detailed. The Society processed an archive of contribution data at 31 December 1992, therefore with-profits contributions received before this date will not be itemised.

  • Details
  • Receipt date of contribution
  • Amount per benefit

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12. Regular Investment Links Enquiry
The initial investment of member contributions are specified by a member on their application form. The initial investment links can be amended subsequently by member instruction to the scheme trustees. These investment links determine the percentage split of each contribution received, between the various investment funds. The pension funds allowable for investment by the scheme members are determined by the scheme trustees.

Regular investment links detail, for each benefit, a history of the contribution investment rules. The member investment links are detailed at two levels,

  • A high level which splits the funds down between with-profits and unit-linked and must add up to 100%
  • A low level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%. (Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
  • Details
  • Start and End date of investment link
  • Investment link split Member status

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13. Adhoc Investment Links Enquiry
Adhoc investment links detail the contribution investment rules for a one off payment. These links are used specifically when the regular contribution investment rules are not required for a lump sum payment. The adhoc investment links are detailed at two levels,

  • A higher level which splits the funds down between with-profits and unit-linked and must add up to 100%
  • A lower level which breaks down the unit-linked funds, and must add up to 100%. (Clerical Medical with-profits will show within the unit-linked fund list).
  • Details
  • Receipt date of the one off contribution
  • Contribution investment link split

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14. Member Level Life Cover Benefits
Member life cover enquiry displays details a member’s death in service cover.

  • Details
  • Benefit status
  • Effective date of cover
  • Sum assured
  • Annual premium and renewal premium
  • Frequency of premiums
  • Premiums received and premiums due

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15. Member Level Life Cover Benefit Contribution History
Member level life cover benefit contribution history details each life cover contribution received for a member, split between benefit type.

The Society processed an archive of contribution data at 31 December 1992, therefore contributions received before this date will not be itemised.

  • Details
  • Receipt date of premium
  • Amount per benefit

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16. Leaving Service Illustration
This transaction allows a member's current fund to be illustrated upon leaving service.

With-profits value - The value shown is the surrender value and includes an allowance for the current financial adjustment. The surrender value may change at any time and is not guaranteed.

A locally printed illustration is produced at the end of this transaction. The printing of this illustration is covered in the section Printed Illustrations below.

  • Details
  • Fund values and contribution totals can be viewed at policy, benefit and investment level.

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17. Printed Illustrations
Printing through this site is enabled using a special browser plug-in that allows documents to be viewed within the browser and then, if required, printed to a local printer. This plug-in can be downloaded via a link from the Equitable Group Administration Service home page. Download time and installation will be dependent on the speed of your network link to the Internet, but typically downloads should complete in 3 to 5 minutes. Once installed, it is not necessary to reinstall the software each time a print is required.

For those transactions that produce a printed illustration, you will be notified that the request has been initiated. Production of the print typically takes 10 to 20 seconds depending on system activity. A “Prints” tab will appear when any prints are available. Selecting the “Prints“ tab will show a list of all the illustrations requested by you. Prints are retained for 24 hours and can be printed again at any time. They will be cleared from the list 24 hours after the process time.

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