Is legacy thinking stopping the future?

If you work with Smart, you’ll know that a digital-first approach defines everything that we do.

If you work with Smart, you’ll know that a digital-first approach defines everything that we do. Our business is built on our technology, which is scalable and modular and can be customised to meet any user’s needs.

It’s about a fresh perspective, innovation and new technology in what is, after all, an old marketplace.

However, what if the platform you’re using doesn’t give you the opportunity for that freshness of perspective? If you’re penned-in by out of date ways of doing things, how can you even begin to think outside the box?

We’ve been concerned for some time that, collectively, the pension industry is falling dangerously behind when it comes to investment in technology. Our worry is that for many pension scheme providers, this has become an elephant in the room and an enormous false economy.

The reality is that the consequences of legacy systems and a lack of investment in technology are combining to produce pension schemes that are letting their members down. Worryingly, this is an international problem, not one unique to any specific country.

Working with Professional Pensions, we’ve recently taken an in-depth look at why providers have been slow to invest in the technology the industry so desperately needs.

What we found were three major gaps – all of which need addressing quickly to ensure that how the pension industry works is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

  • The first gap is the technology gap itself. The pension industry is decades behind most of the financial services industry, because the online experience for scheme members varies so much.
  • The second gap is a problem with technological delivery and engagement. There’s a clear disconnect between what corporate leaders think their pension programme offers and what scheme members need, want and expect.
  • The third gap is all about a mindset. There is too much protection of the past, too many excuses to why something can’t be done, there is no greater example than the pension dashboard. On the whole, the industry agrees that the pension dashboard is important but the old way of thinking and conflicting objectives constrain its progress. 

 All three are signs that our industry is at a crucial juncture, we believe we are approaching a tipping point. Without investing in the future and putting customers first, are some providers on the road to an uncertain future? Or even no future at all?

Find out more here.

About Smart

Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, Group CEO, and Will Wynne, Group MD, it is one of the UK's largest providers of workplace pensions. Its award-winning master trust, Smart Pension, is overseen by independent professional trustees.

In 2020 Smart Pension was named Master Trust Offering of the Year at the Pension Age Awards. Other awards include DC Master Trust of the Year, DC Innovation of the Year and Retirement Innovation of the Year in the 2019 UK Pensions Awards. Smart Pension was also named European Pension Fund of the Year 2019 in the European Pension Awards.

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), J.P. Morgan, Link Group, Natixis Investment Managers, Barclays, Chrysalis Investments and DWS Group are all investors in Smart.

We tweet as @SmartPensionUK.

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Contact the Smart press office on 020 8016 2553 or email [email protected]