Marty McFly, Bill Gates, and … Pension Administration?

July 16, 2015 David Rive

What do the movie Back to the Future and Windows® 1.0 have in common?

Both were released in 1985. Technology that makes life better was a focal point back then, and it still is today. That was also the year I tried to figure out how to cope with massive legislative change to the already complex Canadian pension system. CPAS Systems was created to automate administration and record keeping for all kinds of pension plans. Eventually, group insured benefits administration was added. Today the CPAS Platform helps private companies and public sector organizations simplify administration, provide better employee service, and save money.

Just like commercial companies, government agencies are tasked with trying to better serve constituents while dealing with tight budgets. Throughout the years, I’ve seen pension administrators and plan sponsors struggle to maintain old, legacy technology as long as they could. But outdated systems hinder growth, decrease efficiency and cause frustration for both constituents and employees. Thirty years later, CPAS Systems has grown to be a global technology company, with employees that speak over 20 languages. And now we’re part of the Xerox family. Our CPAS v5 Platform is available in eight languages and manages pensions for more than 2.5 million people in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

So what will shape the retirement industry in the coming decade? Four things come to mind….

  1. Engagement – More millennials are starting to invest in 401Ks at a younger age, and the “Silver Tsunami” of Baby Boomer retirement is happening as we speak. Engaging with the full spectrum of constituents (young and old) requires everything from traditional paper communications and call centers, to Web self-service and smartphone access. By offering different ways for constituents to contact and interact with their pension program, customer engagement and satisfaction increases significantly.
  2. Transparency – Today, constituents expect transparent and immediate access to information and customer service agents to answer any questions they may have. Time is money and pension solutions need to make sure they’re making this critical information available to constituents quickly.
  3. Smart Technology – Pension technology that is flexible and can be leveraged on many devices will be a must today. Outdated technology costs agencies money and doesn’t adapt well to today’s communication channels like the web and smartphones. Most technology enhancements pay for themselves through increased productivity and staff-hour savings.
  4. Partnership – Public-private partnerships are the last piece of the puzzle. We all can’t be the best at everything and government agencies will continue to turn to experienced consultants and outsourcing firms to run their time-consuming pension plans.

Technology has played a huge role in advancing government processes and it will continue to modernize government over the next few decades. Here at CPAS, we want to help organizations move from those old legacy systems to modern state of the art technology that empowers both employees and administrators.

The last 30 years has been a fascinating ride, as technological change has accelerated. It will only get better as new and better tools become available.

About the Author

Managing Director, CPAS Systems Inc., a Xerox Company

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