Shedding light on pension savings
Many pension savers don’t know what pensions they have and many lack detailed information about them. With 11,000 regulated pension providers in the UK offering 30,000-plus funds, the information can be fragmented. “There’s still no way of querying those providers en masse on behalf of a pension customer,” says Mayo.
Though it’s automated, the paper-based process takes 45 days to locate a customer’s pension from a single provider. It also takes a further 45 days once located to get the information, he says.
“There’s no reason why those processes shouldn’t be instantaneous if the industry had the right technology in place to support it,” explains Mayo. “That would make it very simple for any pension saver.”
Also, government national insurance records contain information about individual pension contributions. “More available digital information would radically improve how companies like us can help customers find out information about their pensions,” he says.
Making pensions work for everyone
Profile Pensions has helped 50,000 people “make better pension choices”, offering them a free service to track down their pension pots. Its free service determines their pension value, where they’re invested, and crucially what fees savers are paying.
A lot of people don’t know where to start – it can be a scary subject for them
Jordan Mayo, Profile Pensions
The company has 15,000 paying customers who have switched their defined contribution pensions on advice from the in-house team of specialist advisers.
As the company continues to scale up, it is aiming to grow its paying customers to 50,000 and will then target 250,000 fee-paying clients. Profile Pensions advises about 25% of people not to switch because it wouldn’t be beneficial for them, he says.
Up to 10 million people could make up the mass market, Mayo explains, as pension savers with sub-£100,000 pension pots fall below the traditional independent financial adviser (IFA) radar.
The human factor is crucial
It’s fair to say that many people don’t interact well with front-end technology, especially concerning a potentially daunting topic like pension savings. But the company’s positive customer feedback stems from the human interactions it offers. Its NPS of 77 is on a par with many internet giants and as much as five times higher than many financial services providers.
To deliver this service, the team is a key to its success. “A fundamental value of our business is our own human capital who serve our customers in the UK mass market,” says Mayo.
Nearly half of the 120-strong team are taking job-related technical studies – mostly IFA qualifications – which are funded by the company.
Technology empowers service delivery
While Profile Pensions’ model requires great human interaction at the front end, “without using technology at the back end, this would be a very expensive solution”, explains Mayo.
“We’re not looking to build a competing vertical by creating our own funds or white-labelling someone else’s and putting some form of UX on top of it,” he says.
In the UK the problem isn’t that pension products aren’t good enough, but technology helps us curate the best funds and experience.
Jordan Mayo, Profile Pensions