F&TRC launches first robo-paraplanner for workplace pensions

Hannah Godfrey reports...

The Finance & Technology Research Centre (F&TRC) has launched a ‘workplace pensions robo-paraplanner’ designed to support advisers in helping find corporate clients a potential new workplace provider.

F&TRC said the technology could help advisers offer a better service and assist clients in identifying schemes with lower charges. It could also be used to validate a client remaining with their current provider, it added.

Advisers using the tool can assess and compare large numbers of workplace pension providers and propositions quickly and then produce a bespoke report based on specific employer requirements and priorities.

F&TRC director Ian McKenna said the tool covered 95% of the market and was able to generate detailed analysis of the suitable pension schemes available that would provide advisers with a solid foundation for future recommendations.

As the fifth anniversary of auto-enrolment approaches, he added, clients were reaching their first or heading towards their second re-enrolment stage and were looking to evaluate the performance of their current scheme.

As such, it was increasingly important to be confident members were receiving the best possible deal as minimum contribution rates are set to rise next year and in 2019.

Stick or switch?

McKenna argued the service offered a “great opportunity” for advisers to conduct an in-depth review and provide “solid reasoning for sticking or switching”, adding: “This area is a huge opportunity for advisers to grow fee income while at the same time delivering real value by identifying where employers can find better service and lower charges.”

At this stage of the robo evolution, McKenna said, employers still wanted professional guidance from an adviser, which is why his firm decided to build a robo-paraplanner.

“This provides a trusted source of information for advisers, quickly and easily, which will, in turn, help provide the best deal for both employers and savers,” he added.

There are more than 800,000 employers using workplace pension schemes and more than 8.5 million employees saving through automatic enrolment.