Alexa, what’s my pension summary?
Workplace pension provider, Smart Pension, have recently introduced hands-free technology allowing members to ask various Amazon home hub devices about their pension pot.
In a ground breaking move which could revolutionise the way we think about pensions and educate its value and the contribution options available, Smart Pension members are able to ask devices like Alexa several questions about their pension, allowing them to track investments into their auto-enrolment retirement fund.
Questions include ‘what’s my pension summary?’, ‘what is my pension worth?’ and ‘what is my investment report?’, with users also being able to make changes to their pension contributions in real-time through the Amazon smart assistant – the account holder and user’s employer being immediately notified via email, reports the FT Adviser. It seems just as simple to reverse it too.
The features can currently be accessed via the Alexa phone and tablet app on Android platforms (although likely to be rolled out to Apple products soon too), and users can watch an introductory video on how to utilise the features through Echo Show (Source 1).
Will Wynne, Co-founder and Managing Director of Smart Pension is right, the pensions industry has seen ‘very little innovation for decades’ and it is time we bring it up to speed with new technology and the latest generation of savers.
In doing so, we open up new opportunities to educate a new generation of pension contributors, many of which will be contributing for more years than those previously due to rises in the cost of living, the UK’s economic outlook and modern workplace trends.
It is imperative that providers follow trailblazers like Smart Pensions, using the latest technology for education and accessibility to continue to encourage the momentum of savings and investment planning for these longer-term pension contributors – particularly when the savings climate can seem so bleak to those just entering the workplace.
With the Government’s proposed pensions dashboard on the horizon in 2019, allowing people to view all their pension pots and information in one place, the tides are definitely turning in the way we interact with, manage and perceive our pension pots.
In a future that seems set to see a continued increase in instantaneous customer service, I can’t help but wonder what this could mean for pensions and payroll more widely later down the line. Maybe it’s a bridge way too far to dream of one day asking ‘Alexa, call HMRC about my tax code’ and be put through directly to an advisor…but that’s a fairy-tale for another day!