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Occupational pension schemes are becoming increasingly important, regardless of whether they involve insurance companies, pension providers, employers or employees. The advantage of these schemes is clear: in addition to saving on taxes and, if applicable, social insurance contributions, a pension plan is set up for employees, which helps to prevent them from slipping into poverty at an old age. But occupational pension schemes entail an administrative burden that the parties involved want to keep as low as possible. What’s more, the topic of sustainability is coming to the fore in the occupational pension industry as well. Coincidently, those involved have an increasing desire to contribute to sustainability. Corporate client portals are a way to factor in both of these aspects.

Managing an occupational pension scheme

At present, communication between the parties involved is mostly done using traditional means, such as telephone, post or e-mail. Insurance companies and pension providers obtain their information from the employer or employee – written down on paper and referred to again as needed. If an employer wishes to insure an employee within the framework of an occupational pension scheme, an application is filled out and ideally sent by e-mail, for example, to the insurance company or to the pension provider. The latter prepares the relevant contract documents and sends them – often by post – to the employer, who acts as the policyholder. Insurance contracts typically need to be adjusted in the course of the product life cycle, for example, when a contribution adjustment is required or an employee leaves the company. To do this, the employer uses printed forms or creates individual cover letters. The traditional communication channels are used here, too, and, overall, the amount of work involved is time-consuming and cost-intensive.

This is where the corporate client portal comes into play, which can largely eliminate precisely these disadvantages. A corporate client portal is an Internet platform to which the insurance companies or pension providers and employers or employees are given access. Those involved can communicate with one another via this platform – and in a variety of ways at that, not just using traditional e-mail. For example, printed forms or online forms, which the employer completes and sends to the insurance company or pension provider digitally, can be used for new registrations and contract adjustments. Apart from that, the corporate client portal usually documents a wealth of information regarding the use of the portal, the topic of occupational pension and the processes involved. The users can access this information at any time as often as they like. The insured benefits can be displayed as well, and information on insurance contracts can be obtained. Any existing coverage gaps can be displayed in a visual representation and used as the basis for creating insurance offers.

A number of insurance companies and pension providers already offer a corporate client portal for employers and employees, but the parties involved aren’t using them enough. This is due to a variety of reasons: the registration process and accessing the portal are too complicated, not user-friendly and are unclear, and the added value it offers customers is often also unclear. Yet this target group is usually open to such offers, especially when they themselves use the Internet for other things every day. The operator should therefore always be focused on the target group as well as its requirements and expectations. Only if the corporate client portal meets or even exceeds these requirements and expectations, will it lead to the success the insurance company or pension provider hope to achieve.

Added value for those involved

For those involved

A good corporate client portal offers added value for everyone involved. In general, these include:

  • Digital contact
  • Discontinuation of analogue communication
  • Information and data exchange
  • Digital dispatch of documents
  • Shortened response times
  • Time and cost savings
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Promotion of sustainability by eliminating paper
For insurance companies and pension providers

There are other benefits for the insurance company or pension provider on top of the ones mentioned, such as:

  • Generation of business transactions using transmitted data
  • Process automation and utilisation of dark processing
  • Reduction of lead times for business transaction processing
  • Reduction of costs and expense ratio
  • Increase in customer contact frequency
  • Use as an additional distribution channel and sales support
  • Increase in cross-selling
  • Increase in customer acquisition, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
  • Reduction of written enquiries and enquiries by phone
  • Competitive advantage
For employers and employees

There are even more benefits for employers and employees, such as:

  • Consideration of the framework conditions of existing collective agreements
  • Quick retrieval of information, printed forms, (online) forms, offers and documents
  • Repeatable retrieval of information
  • Use of services such as digital application for new registrations and contract changes
  • Display of insured benefits
  • Insurance contract information retrieval
  • Visual representation of the supply gap

Implementation

Implementing or expanding a corporate client portal involves expenditure, be it financially or in terms of human resources and time. However, implementing such a portal is especially worthwhile for insurance companies and pension providers. Based on the fact that within a short time after implementing the portal, a dark processing rate of about 80 per cent, and thus a significant cost reduction, can be achieved for the business transactions transmitted via the portal, the effort quickly pays off.

The implementation can be carried out in stages, starting with a basic set of information and services that are made available to users and offer them real added value. Building on this, the corporate client portal can be expanded in further stages by developing things such as the digital application for (additional) contract changes, process automation or dark processing procedures at the insurance company or pension provider.

There’s a lot to consider when implementing the portal. Therefore, having trained and experienced personnel carry out implementation is vital to the success of this project. They shouldn’t just be familiar with the topic of corporate customer portals, they should also have technological expertise as well as distinct (industry-specific) technical and business expertise in order to be able to achieve the implementation goals and, if necessary, support them using customised IT strategies.

You will find more exciting topics from the adesso world in our latest blog posts.

Picture Sandra Weis

Author Sandra Weis

Sandra Weis is a Senior Business Consultant at adesso. She has decades of experience in project management and as a business analyst in the life insurance sector, including occupational pensions and biometrics.

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