Helping you to save for the future: building on last year

17 December 2020

In our newsletter last winter, we included some results of the survey we sent out in summer 2019. We also talked about what we were doing to help improve your understanding of how your pension works. During 2020, we’ve acted on our pledges by doing the following:

We’ve put easy to understand information in one handy place

In the summer, we launched our new Atlas website. We’ve included information about saving money with Atlas, how you can invest your pension account to help it grow, and what you might want to do with your pension account when you retire.

There’s also a contribution calculator, to help you see how much goes into your pension account every month. And we’ve added a budget planner to help you work out what you might spend once you’ve stopped work.

You can link through to the member portal so you can see how your own pension account is doing.

We also make the Atlas legal documents available online. You can find the up-to-date Trustee Report and Accounts, the Statement of Investment Principles, the Governance Statement and our Value for Members assessment here.

We use simple language

We’ve made sure that the website reflects the way we want to communicate with you. Simple, honest language, with the least amount of jargon we can use. And over the next few months, we’ll be enhancing it even further, with handy definitions of any technical language.

We’re rolling out a WhatsApp service

We know how important it is that you keep in touch with your savings. And we want to make sure that you’re always able to talk to someone about your Atlas pension account. So, as well as telephone and email, we’re trialling a new service where you can talk to someone via WhatsApp. At the moment, we’re giving it a try with a small group of members. If the trial is successful, we plan to roll this service out to all members in 2021.

We’ve revamped your Annual Updates

In the summer, we sent out our new-look benefit statements – now called Annual Updates – using simple language and arranging them in a way that’s easy to understand and interpret.

Your 2020 Annual Update included details of how much had been put into your pension account over the year, together with how your investments have performed. We know that many of you will have seen your pension account fall, because of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but don’t forget that you can check how your pension account is doing at any time by visiting the Atlas member portal. To log in, click the button at the top of this page.

Members over 50 were sent additional details of how benefits can be taken.

We added a helpful ‘how to’ video on the website, showing you what the figures on your update mean, and included links in the update to the website, to find out more about your individual funds.

We also included suggestions for how you can increase the amount you saving into your pension account.

And there is still lots more to come: next year we want to make your Annual Updates even better. We’ve already started the project for 2021, to make sure that we give you the most helpful information for your circumstances.

Where can you find your Annual Update?

If you’re still building up pension contributions in your Atlas pension account, your update is likely to be available on the Atlas member portal. If you are no longer contributing, we’ll probably be sending it to your home. However, we’re moving away from printed material where we can (saving the planet one tree at a time). So, unless you opt out and specifically request to continue receiving stuff through the post, in future we’ll be putting your updates on the Atlas member portal, and newsletters and other bits will all be on the website. If you haven’t yet given us your email address, please do so.