Pensions  

The Pension Lab trials new pension platform

The Pension Lab trials new pension platform

The Pension Lab has built a pension platform tailored to group schemes which, the creators have claimed, will remove the jargon and information overload that often plagues scheme members.

After winning the Fintech Pitch Competition, held in June last year, Leicester-based start-up The Pension Lab has started piloting the new pension engagement platform with 2,000 members at a large UK employer. 

The Pension Lab, co-founded by ex-pension investment consultant Sanjay Champaneria and ex-private banker Scott Phillips, said this is the next stage of their "mission" to bring pensions into the 21st century, by equipping everyone with the tools needed to take control of their pension savings.

Mr Champaneria said: “We’re focused on creating transparency around data, how money is held, and how we interact with that money to drive better outcomes.

“Information overload is clearly damaging, so we’ve developed an aggregated view of an individual’s pension pots, and we’re presenting that distilled information in a way that is visual, personalised, and interactive.

"We believe that will help engagement and understanding and, ultimately, help people confidently move forward with decision making around contribution levels. Longer-term, with open banking, we will facilitate ‘customised savings nudges’ based on personal affordability.”

Thanks to the support from EValue and interface design specialist 4xxi, who held the competition last year, Pension Lab's start-up is now running pilots of its pension engagement platform, which incorporates a dashboard as well as interactive features personalised to each user, which it is hoped will ultimately drive up contribution levels.

The Pension Lab will be using EValue’s stochastic forecasting model and underlying financial planning application programming interface, in combination with a custom-built 4xxi user-interface for the pilot launch of the platform.

The pension engagement platform provides a traffic light warning system on an individual’s ‘pension score’, conceptually similar to credit score, and points to how ’on track’ their pension is against their goals.

A ‘personal timeline’ highlights when the individual wants to retire, when they actually can retire based on all the pensions on their dashboard, and then the impact of any contributions they might make. In the future, the intention is to add open banking functionality and include non-pension assets.

However, Mr Champaneria said the tech was not the "revolutionary" aspect - what was revolutionary was how The Pension Lab's platform would be presenting pensions modelling tools to the "man and the woman in the street".

He explained: "Accessing your information is becoming normalised in other areas of everyday life and, as a sector, financial services needs to harness that normalisation.

"We need to help people make the emotional connection between how taking action now will benefit them later in life. Technology that allows people to engage with their everyday money, and then ultimately their future money, will help make those decisions - that don’t seem to come naturally to people - a lot easier.”