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Retirement Systems Can Reform Now for a Sustainable Future
Across the world, many pensions systems face challenges such as demographic shifts, aging legacy systems and new patterns of working and retiring. Add to that the budgetary pressures that call for pension systems to work toward more efficient administration and better management of liabilities. The imperative is clear. Pensions agencies must transform now to meet obligations for fair treatment, transparency and reliable systems that will meet the needs of future generations.
Accenture has worked alongside some of the largest and most complex pensions and social security systems in the world. We have served 25 public pension systems and national social security systems providing benefits to more than 100 million members. Through our 25 years of experience in human services, our understanding of pensions systems and our tailored solutions that are flexible to meet current demands while ensuring long-term sustainability, we are helping pensions organizations to achieve high performance. At the same time, they are building the foundation for a sustainable future for the system, and the citizens it serves.
Now is the time for pension transformation. Political and public momentum behind pension reform makes the opportunity riper than ever. Demographic shifts and new patterns of working and retiring call for a renewed focus on customer service. Budget constraints are fueling the need for more efficient administration and better management of liabilities. Additionally, current technology simply can’t keep up. Aging legacy systems must be replaced with scalable, responsive IT solutions.
Inertia has a high cost. Pensions agencies must transform now to meet obligations for future generations. Accenture understands the challenges of pension agencies, and also the highly political and sensitive environment that can make these challenges even more acute. We work side-by-side with some of the largest and most complex pensions and social security systems in the world. Through our experience, we are able to deliver proven capabilities and solutions to help pensions organizations achieve high performance today, and for generations to come.
Pensions systems globally are transforming for a sustainable future. For example:
Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV)
In 2005, the Norwegian Parliament legislated comprehensive welfare reform to be completed over five years. Of these, one of the largest is a $500 million program that involves transforming the way Norway administers pension benefits.
With Accenture as a strategic ally, NAV’s pension administration organization, processes and IT systems have been transformed, and continue to evolve as NAV progresses toward meeting Norway’s reform targets. The establishment of five production centers streamlined case-handling functions. Case managers now access one modern, centralized system instead of numerous legacy systems, greatly improving case-handling quality and efficiency.
The launch of the pension portal on www.nav.no (called Din pensjon, “Your pension” in Norwegian) offers citizens a pension self-service solution and automates application processing. Pension applications used to take about three months to process by post; today, it takes about three minutes when submitted electronically.
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
CalPERS’ leadership recognized that its 49 independent legacy systems were not sustainable. Customer and stakeholder demands would continue to escalate and evolve, and the decades-old legacy systems would not have adequate capacity to effectively support core services and pension components.
CalPERS selected Accenture as the systems integrator for the initiative. The size and scope of the implementation was unlike anything the pension industry had seen before. It involved converting 3.2 billion health and pension records from 49 legacy systems into a streamlined web-based platform involving 2 million lines of code.
After launch, more than 1,000 internal CalPERS users went from using one to ten legacy systems daily to using one system. Results include:
12 million payroll transactions processed since launch, representing more than $10 billion in payroll records.
More than 15,500 new retirees and beneficiaries have been added to the system.
Since launching, the system has had only two hours of unplanned downtime.
Round the clock 24/7 service options are now available for business partners, members, dependents and beneficiaries.
The new web-platform has been broadly supported with 100% of employees and business providers adopting it to manage benefits.
The integrated platform has reduced the time it takes to implement changes by 83%.
Italian Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS)
The collaboration between the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) and Accenture began in 2003 with the IT Application Re-platforming Program (moving from legacy systems to open systems) and has since included the Re-engineering Program. In recent years, the ongoing global economic downturn has increased the need for welfare and social security benefits. Therefore, INPS began to rethink its role in Italian Welfare, and how it could more effectively support the government’s vision of structuring public administration.
Accenture seamlessly supported—and continues to support—INPS in implementing a multiyear IT transformation program. The work includes transforming INPS IT systems and application portfolio, and implementing new procedures to more effectively support INPS as it faces current challenges.
Download the full PDF to read about how other countries are transforming pensions programs.
Pensions systems looking to transform should collaborate with a reliable teammate who can deliver:
Experience. With more than 25 years of experience helping clients in the human services industry, Accenture has gained valuable insights into how best to effect change within the complex pensions environment. We have served 25 public pension systems and national social security systems providing benefits to more than 100 million members. We understand that pensions solutions must be reliable to support customers now, and be sustainable to work well into the future.
Perspective. Experience breeds knowledge and understanding. We take the long view of retirement systems and pension transformation—understanding connections and impacts among pension system technology, processes and people across the lifecycle, so clients make the most of their investment.
Solutions. We understand the limitations of legacy infrastructure and work within that understanding to create realistic blueprints for technology transformation in times of serious budgetary constraint. Accenture also knows that one size won’t fit all, so we strive to develop tailored systems that meet current demands while ensuring long-term sustainability.
May 3, 2013
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