Most of us have smartphones now. We download applications that allow us to do everything from shopping and banking online, engage in social media, share photographs, read news, write messages, order a cab, to monitoring our fitness and health. Our smartphones have become the epicentre of our digital universe. But the pension industry has been slow on the uptake. The question we have to ask is why.
People who work in the pension industry appreciate the value of long-term planning as a way of ensuring a sustainable retirement. But the disconnect between consumer technology and the world of pensions is not just huge, it’s also disproportionate to the reality of an ageing global population and greater longevity than previous generations. In the UK, statistics show that around 12 million people, or close to 20% of the population, is over the age of 65.
In this issue of Asia Asset Management, we showcase two players in the UK pension market that are working towards making pensions more accessible. The goal is for people to be able to understand their pensions and make solid plans for their retirement. This is in contrast to the idea of a pension pot that consumers pay into without necessarily understanding where the money goes.
With the likes of PensionBee and Smart Pension and others, we are now starting to see a future where people don’t have to feel intimidated by their pensions. The days of receiving an incomprehensible annual report from pension providers, which gets put to the back of the cupboard to be dealt with another day, may soon be long gone.
Technology has become the enabler giving pension holders the tools to feel confident that they are able to deal with their money without the headaches of old-style pension providers and outdated legacy systems, where people can feel secure in knowing how much their pensions will be worth and how much they need to save to secure their future.