Personal Pension 

Staffcare founder launches employee savings venture

Staffcare founder launches employee savings venture

Phil Hollingdale, who founded the Staffcare employee benefits software business, is launching a new platform for workplace savings and investments with Smarterinvestment.

Staffcare was acquired by SimplyBiz Group in 2013 and Mr Hollingdale recently joined SmarterInvestment as executive chairman. 

SmarterInvestment is already working in partnership with a number of benefit consultants and benefit tech providers and received funding from employee benefits specialist Unum to support the development of its platform. 

Ben Pollard, founder of SmarterInvestment, said the new platform was focussed on employee benefits because “we can discount our charges to offer a better financial deal as well as a more engaging experience than they will find with most consumer financial websites.

"We’ve also built tools for integrating with benefit platforms and payroll providers so any contributions into savings plans can be made via payroll deduction.”

William Annison, employee benefits expert from HWWA Consulting, said there was a definite market for more workplace savings options, and that auto-enrolment had shown “more forward-thinking employers” that there is an appetite for more people to save within their employment package.

He said: “I think many companies thought that this wasn’t important but they have been challenged by employees who have been keen. So there’s definitely a market for this type of thing.”

He said that packages like Staffcare are interesting and offer something for larger companies, but that they were too expensive for smaller companies and there is crossover between Staffcare options and HR software.

He said: “There is a market out there for something cheaper and more flexible,” he said.

Mr Hollingdale said: “Consumers are starting to get the message that putting their savings into a cash Isa is not the smart thing to do.

"However, we recognise that a significant percentage of savers are risk averse and nervous about making decisions on investing which is why we’ve built tools to help guide them through the process and have a range of ready-made portfolios with low risk options for the more cautious, to higher risk for the more adventurous.” 

SmarterInvestment plans to sell through employee benefits consultancies as well as directly to employers.