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Covid-19 has forced pensions to 'change for the better'

 

The coronavirus crisis has forced the long-awaited modernisation of the pensions industry as both advisers and providers move to change their processes in the long-term, according to pensions expert Claire Trott.

Speaking on the FTAdviser Podcast this week, Ms Trott, head of pensions strategy at St James’s Place, said although Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the industry and pensions of individuals, it has also forced the pensions world to change for the better.

Ms Trott said: “The big positive from Covid-19 has been the technological changes that both providers and advisers have embraced to make things work.

“Changing the structure of documents and making them easier for third parties to sign in different places has been a real big change and it is something that has needed to happen.”

Ms Trott said the industry has had to change its viewpoint and advisers have moved to embrace the changes they have been forced to make.

She said: “The long held view of it’s not broken so let’s not fix it has had to go out of the window.

“It has broken and we have had to fix it and there has been such positive feedback on this.

“If pensions stop being so old school and start being something people can access electronically where they do not need to see a person to sign documents, they will start being at the forefront of younger people’s minds. And as we all know younger people need to engage with their savings.”

Also appearing on the podcast, Tim Morris, independent financial adviser at Russell & Co, agreed the technology push was needed, especially in the advice industry.

Mr Morris said: “We are all guilty of not using technology to the extent that we should do and we have tried to fit into the last few months something that we could have been doing over the last 20 years in terms of changing some of the processes. 

“Providers have really brought out their A game and have gotten things to a position where we can work well remotely with clients.”

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amy.austin@ft.com

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