The University Pension Plan is launching a new web portal to prioritize plan member engagement throughout the year.

“Transparency is an important value to our members,” says Joanna Lohrenz, the plan’s chief pension services officer, noting the website will provide members with account details and allow them to update their personal information, run a pension estimate and communicate securely with the UPP. The pension plan aims to have the site up and running this fall.

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In the meantime, members can use the current site to find the plan’s annual report as well as information on all aspects of the plan, including investments, its leadership team and a section for frequently asked questions.

“When we communicate, our goal is to ensure members feel informed, empowered and engaged in their retirement planning and earn their trust. This is why we try to ensure our communications are easily understood.”

Defined benefit pension plans are a critical savings tool for plan members because for some, it’s their only source of retirement income, says Lohrenz, noting this is why it’s important that pension plan sponsors and administrators continue focusing on keeping plan members informed and engaged. “They need to understand how much they’re saving and how much they’re expected to have saved when they retire. By having member resources on our website and launching our member portal, we’re helping to ensure member engagement happens year-round.”

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The UPP is also building up its member service model, with education a key growth area. “Our members have told us that they want to understand their plan and what they’re investing in. So, one of the things that we’re really focused on is making sure that the information on our website is not only transparent but simple for plan members to understand.”

As part of its efforts to bring clear, easy-to-understand plan information to members, the UPP was among the pension plans that partnered with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario to host a podcast on innovation in the pension space for Pension Awareness Day on Feb. 15.

“The podcast is just one of the many ways we’re trying to reach our members where they’re at. Some people enjoy listening to podcasts, while some have other preferences for their communications, whether that’s on the website, through podcasts or in person. Utilizing different modes of communication is critical.”

Read: FSRA’s Pension Awareness Day helping engage, educate employees on benefits of workplace pension plans