Pension providers berated over lack of product innovation

Writes Hope William-Smith

The majority of employers in the UK do not believe pension providers are doing enough to offer progressive products for the modern workforce, according to Smarterly.

A survey from the savings and investments platform provider released today (7 January) showed 87% of employers will look to review their pension provider in 2020.

This follows 65% of responding employers agreeing that the pensions market is “crying out” for fresh ideas and innovation that supports an ever-changing workforce.

Despite a raft of changes and developments across the pensions industry since 2000, Smarterly head of proposition Steve Watson said innovation has stagnated and products have remained largely the same for two decades.

“With employers now legally obliged to enrol their employees into a pension scheme, existing providers are under very little pressure to innovate,” he said. “They still seek to compete on cost, of course, but with a captive audience, providers see no need to design ground-breaking products or offer outstanding levels of service.”

A total of 63% of respondents flagged their desire for a new disruptor in the pensions market this year.

Watson added: “Legacy providers are simply not doing enough to keep up with the new generation. The time is nigh for a new player in the market [and] it’s not surprising to find that the vast number of employers are looking to review their current pension provider in the very near future.”

The survey found just over half (54%) of employers are expecting to review their current pension provider by June.