The pensions industry isn’t famed for being the most forward thinking. Despite the fact our entire job is based around building a better future, many providers shy away from change (despite what they claim) and stay resolutely stuck in their ways.
That said, there’s a cluster of companies that are on a mission to modernise. Driven by disappointed customers a number of us are challenging the inertia, and coming up with innovative ways to engage Britain’s savers.
Intrigued? Read on for five of the best...
Smart Pension’s auto enrolment solution
If you run your own business you’ll know all too well the challenges auto enrolment can bring. Co-founded by two finance veterans - Andrew Evans and William Wynne - Smart Pension aims to simplify things, through their innovative, all-in-one online platform.
So far they’ve picked up impressive reviews, significant investment and industry accolades. In short, if you’re worried about auto enrolling your staff then Smart Pension could be worth exploring. Find out more about the service on the Smart Pension website .
The People’s Pension affordable advice
According to Unbiased an initial review with an IFA costs £500 on average, with those looking for pension advice at retirement facing a fee of £1,000 for help investing a £100,000 fund. Such fees are likely to send shivers down the spines of many savers, so The People’s Pension have harnessed technology and come up with an affordable alternative.
In combination with LV they’re offering savers online guidance and advice from just £49. Thousands of savers have taken up the service already, proving there’s plenty of appetite for digital guidance.
Aviva’s Digital Garage
Aviva are one of the titans of the pension industry. But unlike their rivals they don’t see this dominance as an excuse to stand still, and they’re one of the few that’s actively embracing technology.
A clear example of this is their recent investment in the Aviva Digital Garage - a new co-working space designed specifically for technical specialists, creative designers, and commercial teams within their company.
Time will tell whether this new work environment increases creativity, but you can’t dispute it’s a step away from the dour offices home to much of the industry. Ultimately, its goal is ‘explore and develop’ all things digital - so where better for that than a trendy co-working space in the heart of London’s Tech City?
The pensions dashboard
We haven’t been shy of criticising the pensions dashboard here on this blog, but we still believe that if delivered correctly it could fundamentally change the industry.
We can't wait for the Pensions Dashboard to go live! 👐 We believe in empowering consumers to prepare better for the future 👍— PensionBee (@pensionbee) March 24, 2017
The government-backed dashboard will allow customers to see all of their pensions in one place online, creating a mobile-friendly way of viewing your savings. As our growth at PensionBee has shown the public are craving a simpler way to save, so the sooner we see this live the better - as things stand a prototype is expected in 2019.
The PensionBee Future World Plan
And finally, we thought we’d finish with a cheeky nudge to our new plan. Months after launching PensionBee we discovered an appetite for this, with increasing numbers of customers asking for an eco-friendly online plan…
@pensionbee Hi, do you offer ethical products too?— Matt D. Wright (@Matdwright) June 13, 2017
@pensionbee any progress on getting an ethical fund going? I’d transfer over straight away if you had one... :)— James Smith 💾 (@Floppy) September 27, 2017
Off the back of this we got in touch with Legal & General - who had only just launched an eco-friendly plan - and took steps to team up to offer PensionBee customers the Future World Plan. In contrast to other plans it only invests in companies generating revenue through low-carbon activities, with a special focus put on businesses that are environmentally friendly.
We’ll be introducing new plans as and when you request them, so either tweet us or shoot an email to our product team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch out for our app in the coming months, plus plenty more innovations in 2018...
Have we missed any pension innovations? Let us know in the comments!