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We take great pride in delivering a consistently high level of service to our members.
In the last year, we’ve continued to achieve above 98 per cent member satisfaction, with neutral responses counted as negative.  
We are always looking for ways to improve further. In 2021, we retained the Institute of Customer Service’s (ICS) ServiceMark accreditation for three years.  
This year we asked members and employees to complete an independent ICS survey to ensure we’re still achieving the high standards we set out to deliver, and scored very highly on both measures. Our next goal is to achieve ServiceMark with Distinction – an accolade currently held by only 21 organisations in the UK.
PPF member hugging grandchild in living room

The cost of living this year

We recognise that the increase in the cost of living this year is a cause for concern for our members.

Legislation defines the extent of any annual increases to compensation when it’s being paid, also known as indexation. There is no provision in legislation for indexation of PPF compensation for benefits accrued before 6 April 1997 (‘pre-97 benefits’), and the Board of the PPF does not have the power to change indexation levels for pre-97 benefits for PPF or FAS members.

Legislation does, however, give our Board some discretion to change the rate of indexation of PPF compensation that relates to benefits accrued on and after 6 April 1997 (‘post-97 compensation’).

The Pensions Act 2004 sets the rate of indexation of post-97 compensation as the lower of 2.5 per cent or the annual increase in prices as specified by the Secretary of State. Our Board does not have the power to alter the rate of indexation of post-97 benefits payable to FAS members.


We understand that a key purpose of the Board’s power to alter the rate of indexation of post-97 compensation was to help reduce the PPF’s liabilities in the event of a funding crisis for the PPF. However, given the current high level of inflation, we’re aware that our members will see the value of their compensation dropping in real terms. Our Board takes member support very seriously and this year considered in detail whether to increase the rate of indexation for post-97 compensation.

The considerations the Board discussed included the extent to which an increase could effectively address the impact of cost-of-living increases, the long-term funding implications associated with an increase, and the knock-on implications for ongoing pension schemes.

More information about the factors Board considered

The Board concluded that it would not change the rate of indexation of post-97 compensation at this time, though it recognised the importance of keeping this postion under review. Any change to PPF compensation levels are also an important matter for the Government.

Vulnerable members

We have always strived to be recognised for delivering outstanding customer service.

The service and support required differs from member to member, but our ambition remains the same.

CEM Benchmarking Ltd, which benchmarks our pension administration and customer service against other similar-sized UK DB pension providers, recognises the PPF as a global leader in adjusting systems and processes to support vulnerable members.

In 2022 we conducted qualitative research to find out how vulnerable members experience our services. Along with some suggestions for ways we could further improve, the key recommendation was for us to keep doing what we’re doing. Since reviewing the findings of this research, we have put together a comprehensive action plan and have been working through it over the course of the year.

Bereavement notification tool

We also launched a bereavement notification tool that enables the relatives of members to contact us online and upload documents easily when their loved one has passed away, instead of having to tell us over the phone. This is our first step on our journey to further improve the bereavement process for the families of our members.

Improving the efficiency of our member services operation

Over the last year we have continued to improve the efficiency of our member services operation. This has allowed us to maintain award-winning levels of service alongside stable direct costs and headcount.

More than one third of PPF members – over 100,000 people – have registered to use our member website. We’ve added further tools to the site to ensure members can take the actions they wish to quickly and easily. In the last year, 81 per cent of member services transactions and 60 per cent of retirements were completed on our member website.

Recent developments on our member website include the launch of downloadable forms, and the addition of a document upload tool that enables members to send us any documents quickly and securely.

Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards

One of our contact centre advisors, Lea-Ann Nelson, was given the Award for Excellence in Customer Service. The judges commented that she stood out from the shortlist for her compassion and dedication to supporting vulnerable customers.

Pensions Age Awards

We won the Pensions Administration Award for delivering outstanding customer service.

Lea-Ann Nelson
Contact Centre Advisor
PPF colleague smiling sat at office kitchen table
When I speak to a vulnerable member, I take my time to make sure they are at ease and comfortable. I reassure them I am here to help. Each day at the PPF makes me smile as I know the members we have helped are smiling.

Excellence in scheme services

Our levy payer satisfaction is 96 per cent

Our levy payer satisfaction rate is 96 per cent, and we’ve seen fewer than 1.5 per cent of levy payers challenge the outcome of their insolvency risk score this year.

We continue to engage with a forum of small and medium sized employers so we can better understand the issues facing our levy payers. We also gather feedback from larger employers through our Industry Steering Group.

Improving our digital features

We’ve introduced several digital features to improve our customer service for schemes, including how-to guides and videos, downloadable score reports and multi-factor authentication.

We’ve also made it easier for levy payers to set up email alerts about changes to their score and/or levy band.

Time in assessment for overfunded schemes

In recent years, we’ve seen a trend of schemes entering assessment with enough assets to buy higher benefits for members than we would pay, which means they can secure a buyout with an insurance company.

Of the 23 cases that entered assessment this year, 10 were overfunded. Our aim is to help these schemes progress through the PPF assessment period as seamlessly as possible and ensure they secure the best possible outcome for members outside the PPF.  

We work with a panel of buyout experts that can help schemes secure an insurance company buyout faster. In the last year we’ve continued working with our panel to standardise procedures, and reduce timeframes and costs.  

We’ve embedded processes so that we can understand the funding level of a scheme as soon as possible, allowing the right advisors to be brought in at the right time. We expect this to shorten timeframes significantly. We’ve also held panel forums to help foster collaboration and to ensure consistent approaches between panellists. Several new efficiency innovations will be launching in 2023, resulting in better outcomes for members.

Continued Covid-19 easement plan

We continued to provide levy payers with the Covid-19 easement plan this year, although a minimal number of schemes took this up. We also implemented a cap of 25 per cent on increases to individual bills in the year 2022/23, reducing shocks that might otherwise emerge in the wake of Covid-19.

The Arcadia pension scheme

In February, the Arcadia Group Pension Scheme (AGPS) and Arcadia Group Senior Executive Pension Scheme (AGSEPS) agreed an £850 million buy-in with Aviva following a period in PPF assessment. Aviva was selected following a robust insurance market review and a competitive and comprehensive selection process.

Woman at the till paying for clothes in clothes shop

The Fraud Compensation Fund

Since a court ruling clarified that occupational pension schemes set up as part of a scam were eligible to claim on the Fraud Compensation Fund (FCF), we’ve been processing and validating the claims received to date.

We’ve been working through the claims received and completed 10 cases in 2022/23.

The FCF works efficiently and responsibly to ensure members who are victims of fraud in certain circumstances receive the appropriate compensation. For compensation to be paid there must be an act of dishonesty leading to a loss to the scheme. This requires a detailed consideration of the facts on a case-by-case basis. The Board has established a FCF case team and new processes to progress these cases. Each claim is scrutinised carefully to make sure it is eligible and all reasonable recoveries have been made.

PPF member at home with pet dogs

Legal challenges to the compensation we pay

We have continued to carry out the complex work involved in uplifting payments and paying arrears to members affected by the Hampshire and Hughes legal cases. Hampshire requires us to ensure that all members are receiving at least 50 per cent of the benefits accrued in the failed scheme and Hughes requires us to remove the cap on PPF compensation, which was found to be unlawful on the basis of age discrimination.

We met our target to conclude payments for 80 per cent of affected PPF and FAS members by December 2022. The payments for the remaining members will be concluded in 2023/24.

Printed copy of ARA on wood surface

Download the PDF

View or download the PDF version of our Annual Report.