Round up of the year

03 November 2020

As always, looking after your pension in the Scheme is extremely important to the Trustee. Although the last 12 months have seen a number of unexpected challenges, we’ve continued to manage the Scheme effectively.

We’ve highlighted the important things that have happened since our last update and how we’ve managed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as we continue to look after the Scheme in the best interests of its members.

The Scheme’s investments

You’ll have seen that markets across the world have been volatile due to the impact of the pandemic and reduced economic activity as a result of the lockdowns.

The Trustee closely monitors these events. Due to the type of investments the Scheme holds and the long-term plan it has followed to reduce risk, we’re pleased to tell you that it has not had a material impact on the financial health of the Scheme and its overall funding position.

This meant that the Trustee was able to continue with its plans and complete additional buy-in policies, which we’ve provided more information about here.

Working with the Company

It’s important to remember that the assets of the Scheme are held completely separately from M&S and the Scheme is well-funded.

The Trustee is aware that the retail industry has faced many challenges and the pandemic has had a significant impact on the Company.

In line with the Trustee’s usual approach to monitoring the Company’s financial health, it sought detailed information from the Company about how it is managing the business. It also took independent advice about how the current circumstances might impact the business in the short and long term.

The Company continued to trade throughout the lockdown and it has accelerated its transformation plans. The Trustee continues to monitor the situation, but it has no reason to believe the Company will be unable to support the Scheme in the future.

Your administration services

Capita Employee Benefits, who provide the Scheme’s administration services, operates one of the largest employee benefit consultancies in the UK and has experience in responding to unexpected events.

It has a dedicated team monitoring and responding to the pandemic to ensure it can continue to deliver critical services, with the payment of members’ pensions being a priority. The Pension Administration, Payroll and Helpline Teams were able to operate remotely and have access to the systems they need through a secure network.

We keep in close contact with Capita to check that service levels to members are maintained.

Your communications

Following the launch of the new Scheme website last year, we’ve continued to develop the information available online and have been able to provide regular updates through the news page.

You can find our brand-new Budget Planner Tool as well as more information about how to avoid pension scams.

We know that going online may not be suitable for everyone, but during times of rapid change it allows us to update members quickly and easily.

How to register for the M&S Pension Scheme Portal

The Portal gives you access to valuable information about your M&S pension and allows you to keep your personal details up to date. To register:

  • Go to www.hartlinkonline.co.uk/mandspensionscheme and click ‘Register’ (it’s in the top right-hand corner).
  • Complete the registration form, creating a username and password.
  • Click ‘Submit’, and check your email inbox for a PIN.
  • Enter the PIN and log in!

Need help using the Portal?

We’ve provided more instructions, including how to reset your login details, how to change your personal details and how to use the Retirement Illustrator, here

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