What are providers doing to help mid-lifers?

This article is part of
Guide to helping mid-lifers plan for retirement

“However, it can be hard for clients to make sense of tools if they don’t have accurate data to input, and it can be hard to build real confidence in what action to actually take – which is where an adviser can really help.”

Improving engagement

Despite the wide range of digital tools on offer to support intermediaries reviewing the retirement plans of this age group, some experts claim providers could do more.

Jon Dean, head of retirement strategy at Altus Consulting, says pension products remain “quite generic”, with firms wedded to “accumulation” and “decumulation” as two main phases.

He believes providers could do more to go beyond their current focus, which he says, are on those with higher earnings or initial wealth.

He says: “Many of this generation are the ‘squeezed middle’ and really need help to become the next wave of wealth retirees. Auto-enrolment on its own will not help to fill the shortfall.”

Mr Dean adds that the next few years could see considerable changes, though, as mass market providers and master trusts accumulate larger numbers of mid-lifers and pot sizes start to become meaningful.

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) is among those providers planning to do more in the years ahead. To its credit, it acknowledges that there is more that the industry can do to increase engagement and prepare people for retirement.

“As an industry, we need to get more people engaged in pensions and planning for retirement,” suggests Emma Douglas, head of DC at LGIM.

“We’re big supporters of the mid-life MOT at Legal & General. It’s a great way for consumers to take stock of their personal finances at 45 or 50 and to really think about the type of life they want to lead after full-time work.

"However, it’s not just about saving enough and building a nest egg for later life.”

Joe McGrath is a freelance financial journalist