Pensions 

Virtual reality reaches retirement planning

Virtual reality reaches retirement planning

US-based IT consulting firm Synechron is launching a virtual reality wealth journey, designed to engage consumers with saving for retirement.

The product, which launched worldwide today (February 28), is designed for financial advisers to engage with their tech-savvy clients.

When the client puts on the VR, they are asked to select the house they want to live in when they retire, and they can visualise this.

The individual is then asked a series of other questions, such as how many holidays they want to take a year.

Ben Musgrave, head of digital UK at Synechron, said: "We are trying to make retirement planning a much more richer and more interactive experience.

"It will walk you back from there – if this is the retirement you want, these are the savings you will need to be making now, and this is how you will need to be investing those savings."

The prototype of the VR wealth journey is available for clients to try at Synechron’s London financial innovation lab, one of 12 around the world.

The IT consultancy firm uses open source technology in the vast majority of its accelerators, which means the product can be adapted to the needs of the client.

Mr Musgrave said: "We are happy to give [the technology] to them, free of charge, obviously with an understanding that we will do the customisation of the product to fit to their systems."

Synechron intends to charge for any customisation work.

Brian Hill, managing director & financial planner at Jones Hill, said: "This is a great idea for the younger generation to be able to dynamically plan retirement.  

"I can see this being used with auto enrolment to encourage employees to save more but it may be too limited for financial advisers to use holistically."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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