‘Monster’ Robo-advice Tool Unleashed
Pension software provider Selectapension has launched an automated guidance tool for consumers with smaller pension pots, and relatively straightforward requirements, designed to ‘make the pension planning process less scary’
‘Pension Monster’ is intended to ‘complement’ the advice process rather than be marketed direct to consumers; a customer enters information in the system which then creates a tailored report outlining options that exist, how much they would need to reach their retirement goals, and suggests products from a variety of providers that could help them achieve that.
The report could then be sent back to their adviser to help them ‘determine the most appropriate service to offer their clients, for example a transactional service or a face to face meeting.’
Selectapension is currently free to use although, as confirmed by national account director Peter Bradshaw, the long term plan is to market Pension Monster direct to consumers; the pricing structure for that service has yet to be decided.
‘the Monster is wrestling with some of the thornier issues and its progress will be eagerly monitored’
Andy McCabe, managing director at Selectapension said Pension Monster would allow advisers to ‘encourage more people to think about their retirement’, adding that its affordability would help address the advice gap that had ‘long been a concern in the industry’.
‘The launch of Pension Monster highlights the digital advancement of our industry and will help narrow the prevalent advice gap by accessing the wider market. With Pension Monster, advisers can help their clients improve engagement with their pensions in a way that educates and informs them.’ said Mr McCabe.
Pension Monster delivers state pension information, existing pensions and investments information, a budget planner, comparisons of drawdown, guaranteed income and cash, tax implications and a range of product providers.
With so many automated advice platforms coming to market or in development, this is an interesting initiative, being aimed initially at advisers and aiming to tackle the relatively complex and in many ways deeply personal issue of retirement planning.
Whereas many of the existing platforms would be considered to be most relevant during the accumulation phase, the Monster is wrestling with some of the thornier issues and its progress will be eagerly monitored.