Aon partners with Blackrock to launch new DC pension

EXCLUSIVE: Aon Employee Benefits has partnered with Blackrock to launch a new defined contribution (DC) pensions scheme, which will be officially launched at Employee Benefits Connect today (4 March).


The product, Bigblue Touch, combines Aon’s Bigblue technology with Blackrock’s investment and administration services.

It aims to give scheme members access to financial aggregation tools, which allow them to build their retirement savings, access to financial education and information on all their personal finances.

Access to the technology will continue even if scheme members leave their employer or move into drawdown.

BlackRock will provide bundled DC services including administration and investment funds including target date funds.

Features include:

  • A compliant workplace DC scheme that can be used as a qualifying workplace pension.
  • Financial aggregation tools that create a holistic view of financial affairs.
  • A range of funds, including Aon Hewitt’s delegated funds.
  • Intelligent individual trigger communications.
  • A retirement options modeler.
  • A range of decumulation options.
  • ‘Whole of market annuity’ selection including medically underwritten annuities.
  • Personal financial education and support and advice where needed.

It will also include around 30 triggers, plus the capacity to create bespoke ones, that indicate when members might need professional support to deal with specific issues such as the possibility of breaching the Lifetime Allowance, or time to consider moving from drawdown to annuity, with the recommendation that an employee should seek financial advice.

Debbie Falvey, head of DC proposition at Aon, said: “The changes in last year’s Budget threw into sharp focus the issue of supporting DC members with their retirement saving and raised important questions about how employers can support their employees through the new range of choices at retirement, and in a way that is engaging and cost effective.

“With Bigblue Touch we offer a contract-based DC scheme linked to Aon’s Bigblue Money technology. This gives scheme members tools to enable them to track their personal finances in parallel with their retirement savings, putting them in a better position to understand if they are on track for the outcome they need. When they come to drawdown their benefits, it also allows them to see whether they can take advantage of the new legislation due in April this year.

“Access to the technology will continue even if scheme members leave their employer, or move into drawdown. With a robust governance framework and clear management information, this is a scheme which works for both the employee and the employer. Bigblue Touch can be the solution for a qualifying workplace scheme, or a decumulation vehicle for trust-based plans that don’t want to offer the full range of decumulation options in a scheme for retirees and deferred members.”

Paul Bucksey, head of UK defined contribution business at Blackrock, added: “This partnership further underlines our commitment to the UK DC market. BlackRock and Aon share a common goal to help workplace DC members achieve the very best possible financial position at retirement, whenever and however they choose to access their DC savings.

“We look forward to working with Aon to provide workplace DC scheme members with the tools, investment options and services they need to build a better future.”