We’ve had a pretty great 2015 so far here at LAGERS. But even with accolades like Plan Sponsor of the year, we are constantly self-assessing to make sure we are providing our members with the best customer service in the most economical way possible. In case you missed it, we wanted to share one strategy that LAGERS is using to continue to look for ways to become an even better retirement system for you!
LAGERS recently participated for the first time in an international pension benchmarking survey, which analyzed LAGERS performance in areas such as administrative cost efficiencies and customer service. The survey found that LAGERS is providing superior customer service at a low cost per member.
CEM Benchmarking, an independent global benchmarking company, conducted the survey by comparing LAGERS to a group of peers. CEM has surveyed over 75 leading global pensions systems and identified LAGERS’ peer group by selecting ten pension funds from their database that are of similar size and structure to LAGERS.
Of the notable findings on the survey, high marks in customer service were at the top, with a total service score of 86 out of 100. While LAGERS scored above our peer average in nearly every activity surveyed, the greatest impact to this score was the result of high member contacts, such as 1-on-1 counseling sessions, seminars, and targeted communication, as well as shorter call wait times, availability of features on myLAGERS, and less red tape when applying for benefits.
CEM defines service as ‘anything a member would like, before considering costs,’ and while LAGERS scored very high in service, remaining good stewards of our members’ money is also a top priority. CEM found that LAGERS Total Pension Administration cost was $16 per member below our peer average. One contributing factor to LAGERS cost efficiencies is the low number of administration staff at LAGERS. LAGERS has fewer administrative staff than any of our peers, which is remarkable considering LAGERS also had more member employers in our system than any of our peers, adding additional layers of complexity to the system administration.
While it is always great to hear that LAGERS is getting it right, these independent benchmarks not only help LAGERS to identify best practices, they also provide measurable information to help us to recognize areas where we are excelling as well as areas in which we can improve. LAGERS takes providing superior customer service in the most efficient and economical manner possible very seriously. Self-assessment is an important part of LAGERS’ success formula, and it is something that staff and leadership are mindful of every day. The detailed report provided LAGERS with actionable measurements that will help LAGERS continue to provide our members with even better customer service at the lowest cost possible into the future! And as always, our members are the best barometer for how we are doing; we love hearing from you and appreciate every complaint and compliment.