You are in:

Reduced Service Levels in Effect

Background

2016 was a challenging year for most of us for various reasons.  For O&M it was a year of rapidly increasing numbers in terms of incoming business, with the challenge mainly being to ensure that we can continue to provide a functional service in light of this.  As you may remember at the beginning of 2016 we wrote to you to explain that we were investing in more staff to address the same issue.  We currently find ourselves in a similar situation, however we have reacted to address this as the following explains.

Sharp Increase of Incoming Business

From Q3 to Q4 of 2016 incoming business for our Transfer Bureau service increased dramatically - a trend which has continued in Q1 2017.

Being specific, we received more TVAS requests in last 3 months of 2016 than we did in the previous 6 months and Q1 2017 was an increase of 35% over Q4 2016. Such a sharp increase in TVAS requests would have a negative impact upon the service that most businesses can provide and we are no exception.  We had to react to address this and this is exactly what we have done.

New Offices, Additional Staff and no New Customers

In January 2017, we moved into new offices on the same business park in Colchester. These new offices have around 120% more space than our previous premises so allows us to increase our staffing levels once again. Any post sent to the old address will be redirected to our new offices. Our telephone numbers and email addresses remain unchanged.

Now we have additional office space, we have already hired 17 additional staff and we are actively recruiting more. These are mainly experienced pension analysts (who produce the TVAS reports) but we have also hired extra staff for the admin team, so that we can improve our service response in this area. We will be continuing to look for experienced pension staff to hire during 2017.

In Q1 2017, we felt we needed to stem the volumes coming in, so no longer accept new customers for our Transfer Bureau Service. Neither do we accept adhoc TVAS report requests. Finally, due to our current backlogs, we have also stopped accepting cases under our 'standard service level'. We also limit the number of new cases we pass to our analyst team each day, so that they have time to deal with scheme responses on existing cases.

Impact on Service Levels

The increase in business received has had an impact upon our target service levels for both Standard and Platinum cases, which many of you will be aware of.  We, as much as you, wish to ensure that we revert these levels back to what they were for most of 2016 as soon as possible. Since the new year, we have been struggling to maintain the existing service levels in place during 2016 – this is being impacted by the training and support existing team members are having to provide to the new staff.

TARGET SERVICE LEVEL FOR PLATINUM / AD-HOC CASES
Review of Initial Scheme Information within 4 working days
Review of Ongoing Scheme Information within 2 working days 
Final Case Checking by Senior Colleague within 1 further working day

TARGET SERVICE LEVEL FOR STANDARD CASES
Review of Initial and Ongoing Scheme Information within 10-15 working days
Final Case Checking by Senior Colleague within 1 further working day

CURRENT SERVICE LEVEL BACKLOG AS AT 19 SEPTEMBER 2017

We are working with a backlog of approximately 3-6 working days in addition to those quoted above.

Due to our current backlog, we are not able to queue jump or prioritise any cases so please do not ask!

 

Summary

We do appreciate your patience and understanding at this time. We know both you and your clients want TVAS reports to be generated as quickly as possible, but we have to balance this with ensuring what we issue to you is accurate and complete. Our aim is to generate a compliant TVAS report and try and protect you from any future claim that the TVAS report was incorrect and impacted upon your advice.