New pension provider on the block as HSBC unveils its Workplace Retirement Services proposition

HSBC has formally launched its Workplace Retirement Services proposition and has already received tenders from 20 of the UK’s 30 biggest intermediaries.

The global bank is vowing to become a leading player in the UK group pensions market over the next five years. HSBC says its key distribution channel will be EBCs and corporate IFAs and is offering commission on GPPs, group stakeholders and a S32a buy-out plan. But it will also offer auto-enrolment compliant options to its 1.2m business banking customers directly where no intermediary is involved.

The provider has invested in a new investment-only platform, called Fund Platform, aimed at trust-based pension schemes offering straight through processing, open architecture and access to HSBC’s target date Protected Retirement Funds. The platform, developed with FNZ, allows intermediaries to blend and manage their own investment propositions online in real time.

HSBC is positioning itself as a premium brand, which will be reflected in charges that will not be the cheapest, but, it argues, will be good value given its economies of scale. The bank believes its proposition will appeal to providers because of the strength of its brand, its global reach and its financial strength.

The bank is currently offering DC group pensions offering and has not made any decisions yet as to whether to offer group Isa, arguing it wants to do further research into employer/employee demand for that and other corporate wrap style features before bringing a proposition to market.

HSBC has over 16m personal customers in the UK across its various brands. Retail banking customers whose employer offers an HSBC group pension get access to up to date pension valuations through their online personal banking facility.

Rob Pearce, head of Workplace Retirement Services says: “With substantial regulatory changes on the horizon for retirement saving in the workplace, HSBC, in partnership with intermediaries, aims to play a major role in preparing employees for their future retirement.

“We understand many intermediaries’ clients see the administration of a pension as more of a burden than the contributions they make. By keeping things simple and with effective administration we will keep to our promises.”