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Motif (This is Motif Limited) – 5 October 2020
Source thisismotif.com

PENSIONS DASHBOARD, FINANCIAL WELLBEING AND COVID

WILL THE NEW PENSIONS DASHBOARD FROM MAPS PROVIDE THE DIGITAL BREAKTHROUGH SO NEEDED FOR BETTER RETIREMENT PLANNING?

The link between financial wellbeing and sound mental health is well documented, though the ongoing threat to lives and livelihoods presented by Covid-19 has increased this feeling of vulnerability. There are also credible fears that even if the current storm can be weathered, insufficient planning will lead to a failure to deliver desired retirement lifestyles and this only adds to stress levels. The state pension is unsustainable, so the Government is keen to help people understand what provision they have put aside, so action can be taken as early as possible.

In a traditionally low-engagement area (although Covid is proving somewhat of a catalyst) the MaPS Pensions Dashboard must deliver on its promise to enable individuals to access all their pensions information online, securely and all in one place so they can better plan for the future.

A key challenge is that older people don’t ‘get’ digital and younger people don’t ‘get’ pensions – how to maximise engagement amongst both groups?

Whilst digital interactions come naturally to younger age groups, we know that online security is one of the main concerns and a potential barrier for some older age groups nearing retirement. Additionally, a recent McKinsey study found that customer satisfaction with digital delivery in the related insurance sector was the lowest compared with all others. The Pensions Dashboard must provide simple, secure, and intuitive tools if it is to succeed.

How do you entice the younger generation to engage with their pensions? Our own R&D shows that brands need to go beyond basic expectations if they’re to encourage repeat usage and loyalty. It’s important to generate feelings of closeness and magnetism to the platform. Examples of this could be via directed and personalised messaging incentivising behaviours on the dashboard for closeness, or rewarding regular interaction by charitable donations to good causes for magnetism.

And even if the dashboard can pull this off, problems with pension coverage could blunt its impact. Will it give consumers confidence when it’s possible that only six out of ten pensions will appear on the Pensions Dashboard due to poor customer data quality?

The final challenge comes from existing pensions consolidators such as PensionBee (which now has £1bn investment assets and 100k customers), Nutmeg, Moneybox, Penfold, and Wealthsimple etc. who have already attracted a large cohort of young multiple pot-holders. Of course, there are still millions of consumers out there who have not used pensions consolidators and would benefit from the MaPS platform – so with a timeline for delivery as elastic as most post-lockdown waistbands, the pressure is on to launch ASAP.

Ultimately, success depends on the quality of the finished dashboard. If it is more sophisticated than rivals, with greater functionality to meet the needs of younger and older consumers alike, there is still a chance for the MaPS Pensions Dashboard to achieve its aims. No pressure then!

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