PART 5 OF 5
In the fifth and final part of his series on engaging Millennials more actively with their pensions, Tom Hibbard urges the industry to seek new solutions that will improve the situation.
The ideas mentioned previously in this series are just the start. The real questions we need to answer are around who is going to step up and help solve this issue. Government are the only ones with the power to force people into saving more, but with their libertarian paternalism or ‘freedom and choice’ approach, they don’t seem to want to go any further than they already have.
Looking at this from a different angle, Millennials now spend on average between 2 and 3 hours a day on social media, so should we not be looking at companies like Facebook, Google and Apple who are clearly the world leaders in engaging this audience to learn some valuable lessons and apply them to pensions?
Or could this go a step further and will we see these companies step into the fray and truly challenge in the financial space? Services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are well-known already, but what about the lesser-known investors? For those who follow the fintech world closely, Google Ventures is one of the hottest fintech investors in the US and UK, with at least 32 investments in finance-related firms relating to a wide variety of services including Payments, Blockchain, spending habits, lending & borrowing and cryptocurrencies.
Surely a key area to exploit is effective communications via mobile devices so that scheme members can easily see their current pension position and make easy decisions about how to save more and what the impact might be of doing so?
Increasingly, we are also seeing the rise of artificial intelligence solutions; Cleo is a US virtual financial assistant that helps people manage their money, while here in the UK, Smart Pension recently announced they were launching an Alexa solution allowing scheme members to make enquiries about their accounts and change contributions through the voice-powered service. These are both positive examples of using modern solutions in a way that will engage and appeal to a generation more comfortable with technology and which expects to use it in all aspects of their lives.
Ultimately, failure to significantly improve engagement will only create an even greater pensions crisis than we already face; while it is incumbent on Millennials to take more interest in their financial futures, the industry also has a responsibility to do all it can to make that task easier.
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