Winners 2019

Best annual report – unlisted organisation

Protecting people's futures
Pension Protection Fund
Agency: Emperor

The Pension Protection Fund is a government organisation established by the Pensions Act 2014 to protect people with a defined benefit pension when an employer becomes insolvent. It currently manages £32 billion of assets for its 249,000 members and has a stated mission To pay the right people the right amount at the right time.

The Fund now plays an essential role in the pensions industry and has a wide range of stakeholders, including the Government, levy payers, regulators, members and its employees. Its annual report is a critical document that communicates how the Fund delivers value to all its stakeholders in a balanced, transparent and accountable way.

The Pension Protection Fund helps people during incredibly stressful times. The report needed to convey that work but also to provide a clear statement of purpose with an easy-to-understand overview of its work.

The first section, Performance Report, acts as a year in review, providing an in-depth explanation of Pension Protection Fund’s achievements; its value management strategy, such as responsible investment and examples of key equity stakes it has taken; the service it provides to members who, in its own words, ‘do not choose to come to us’; how it creates ‘real value’ in the schemes it protects; and information on employees and its role in the community.

Engaging case studies with authentic photography bring life to the section and emphasises the importance placed on customer service for members. ‘When it took over my pension ten years ago, it provided support and reassurance when I thought all was lost and things have gone smoothly ever since,’ said member Robert Low.

All sections – which also include an accountability report, financial statements and actuarial reports – are colour-coded, which the judges found ‘worked really well, there’s a nice flow to the document’.

The report is laid before Parliament and needs to be approved by the Department of Work & Pensions, so it has to balance engaging storytelling with the detailed factual data required from a legislative perspective. It also has to be accessible in a variety of formats, including a large ring version.

‘The report is cost-effective,’ said the judges. ‘It hits the mark without feeling extravagant or too cheap. It is a difficult subject matter, targeted at a wide variety of stakeholders, which is hard to do. Good work, which feels true to what the business actually does.’