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1. Why was the sector's Employer steering group established?

The employer steering group was established in response to the significant changes and challenges in the Life, Pensions and Long Term Savings market, not least from Pension Reforms legislation. This was in recognition of the opportunity for a collaborative group of major employers to respond to these challenges and raise professional standards and improve consistency of customer service and communication across the sector. Our work has been informed by independent consumer research.

2. What is the 2016 Commitment?

The 2016 Commitment is a call to action to the Life, Pensions and Long Term Savings sector to publicly commit to a common framework for professional standards. It sets a requirement that firms should operate policies that embed outstanding standards of customer service and ethical conduct, underpin career development and support the development of knowledge, skills and expertise all with the objective of delivering a consistent outcome for the customer.

3. How flexible is the 2016 Commitment in its application?

The 2016 Commitment recognises the diversity of the sector. Consequently, the framework sets out broad but measurable principles, rather than hard and fast rules, and invites firms to consider how they should be applied to their business model.

4. What companies are in scope within the 'Life, Pensions and Long Term Savings' sector?

Any organisation which has customer contact through the provision or administration of life, pension or long term savings products, and is viewed as relevant by the customer.

5. How will companies evidence their adherence to the 2016 Commitment?

Individuals who are authorised to act on their firm's behalf, declare in good faith that their firm will embed the Commitment standards in full by the end of 2018. The CII reserves the right to ask for clarification on how framework principles are being applied.

6. What do we mean by 'relevant qualifications'?

Using the term 'relevant qualifications' allows companies to decide what qualifications are appropriate for individual job roles. In-house training can be included, but only when externally accredited by a recognised awarding body.

7. Does it matter which professional body's qualifications are taken?

No. This is up to individual companies to decide. For example CIPD qualifications for HR staff or IFoA qualifications for actuaries.

8. What research supports the link between customer trust and professional standards?

Visit new pensions environment for more information on our independent consumer research.

9. How will the success of the 2016 Commitment be measured once fully implemented by the end of 2018?

  • At least 75% of firms publicly committed
  • Professional development programmes the 'norm' at all levels
  • Sector working to a common agenda with Government and regulators
  • Positive impact on staff recruitment and retention

10.  Having signed up to the 2016 Commitment, what can firms do to promote their status as a Professional Standards Signatory?

The CII will be delivering an ongoing communications programme in partnership with the Employer steering group and will be offering support to firms wanting to capitalise on their commitment to embedding high levels of professional standards.

We are developing a suit of materials to support firms in communicating their status as a Professional Standards Signatory, which will include a Professional Standards Signatory logo for use on internal and external corporate communications, a sample communication to staff and a Professional Standards Signatory certificate, awarded by the CII.