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The state of retirement advice – Advice, planning and marketing to the over 50’s

friday morning well done everybody getting through 
another week and uh thank you for choosing to uh   to round out your week uh spending some time 
with myself and and ben so before i get into   introductions again and introduce ben and 
allow him to introduce himself in his role um   thank you so much for joining us on the breakfast 
session i'll go through some of the housekeeping   for um if you've if you've not joined before um 
we've been running these for a couple of couple   of years now actually uh offline and online um 
and has some kind of great guests over the time   we we invite people who are really kind of making 
changes in them in the work that they're doing   in brand marketing and so st men's is coming 
across this between marketing and proposition   development um and uh so i'm delighted to delight 
to welcome ben today we're going to get into the   chats in them in a minute and we'll probably 
run for about half an hour to so 40 minutes   and it absolutely will be an opportunity to ask 
questions so please put those into the kind of q a   my colleague scott will be grooming the questions 
and uh we'll take a break halfway through at least   for questions and then we'll ask for a few more 
at the end so please please do kind of fire your   hard and tricky questions through to ben because i 
don't have to answer them so i've got an easy ride   um we are recording hope everybody's okay 
with that we record so that we can share   it online afterwards so if the drop off or you 
want to share it with your colleagues please   please feel free to do so you can find links on and on youtube um and um i think   i think that's probably it we don't have to 
do the fire drill actually i have to say i am   annoyingly got a delivery collection sort of 
coming and so there's and i'm in the flat on   my own there's every chance that could come in 
the next 20 minutes so apologies in advance if   that happens there's nothing i can do about 
it you'll have to talk among yourselves um   great okay um so with all with all that out 
of the way um uh welcome to to to ben so uh   we've had a number of guests on this uh some you 
know from adidas and penguin london house and um penguin yeah penguin expedia in the past and so on 
and i'm delighted to add another um client they're   not always clients but i'm delighted to have a 
client this time uh in standard life uh standard   life advice and and ben who we've worked with ben 
and andy for the last couple of years i'd say now   yeah on and off over the last couple of 
years specifically helping um to develop the   thunder life advice proposition so i'm delighted 
to join us we're going to talk about everything   about the canola time of the vice space um 
before we get into that um ben you want to   introduce yourself and uh maybe a little bit about 
your career and and how you got to where you are   and then just tell us a little bit about the the 
proposition as it stands today yeah look thanks   nick in the morning to you and morning to everyone 
thanks for thanks for coming along um yes of ben   ben hampton i work at starlife aberdeen and i lead 
depends what's our retirement advice business and   that's really a it's a hopefully an innovative we 
think it is and a kind of growing hybrid advice   offer so it's a combination of a human human 
relationship is really really important but   driving digitization and codification to 
kind of make it more accessible that's what   that's what we're trying to do we're trying to 
increase affordable access to financial advice   for people probably at the time when they need 
it the most which is about retirement and what's   next and how we deliver a plan for them for 
both the finances and really for what i call   the life they've not yet lived there's some of 
those emotional aspects which we'll come on to so   um yeah from aren't you down in london actually 
for the benefits of home working i'm at my um   my wife's parents house we've been down to travel 
a bit of virtual working but based upon edinburgh   despite the accent uh from hull in yorkshire 
um and i've been fortunate i've had a kind of a   decade of experience working on advice workplace 
pensions wealth management at starting life   aberdeen and the various guys we've been in um 
from strategy roles proposition roles distribution   marketing and then kind of advice running running 
a kind of advice business i've been fortunate   probably in the kind of experiences i've had i 
think i've loved being on the front line i was   spent time with him workplace employers and 
the the kind of pension scheme so going to   lots of different businesses and companies was 
fascinating and then i was fortunate to have a   stint as executive assistant to our ceo in the uk 
and europe business uh look fascinating see how   um executives make decisions on direct decisions 
sometimes um but it was fascinating nonetheless   seeing how business runs end to end and the 
advice proposition is mainly a d2c offer isn't it   at the moment yeah certainly so look we the key 
thing for us and we'll probably cover this is kind   of talk some of the questions you want to cover 
next and it's it's really about helping customers   and actually trying to do that direct consumer 
themselves and it's it's in the challenge for this   advice isn't well known so it's really about kind 
of direct consumer whether that's referrals from   other parts of our business or partners actually 
acquiring them directly through various different   forms of paid acquisition actually and that's 
kind of exciting but also challenging at times   so it's kind of making it all stack up well you 
know i'm just because we know each other a little   while you know i'm actually i'm kind of i'm really 
invested in this this one of kind of retirement   and and some of the challenges that are facing 
the industry and it was an eye opening for me um   over the last working with yourselves and 
people like hyman's robertson another client   who um really you know kind of 
championing trying to get people to   to engage with um their you know their 
retirement planning and more and you kind   of think it's something in the dim and distant 
future you really don't need to worry about   and i was definitely in that camp um a few things 
happened to me kind of a couple of years ago i got   i got pneumonia a couple of years ago got ill give 
me a bit of a health scare got me thinking about   like kind of provisions for for um for thinking 
ahead and obviously i'm kind of advanced it was i   was 47 yesterday so from the advancing years and i 
read a great book called the 100 year life as well   which kind of got me um definitely got me thinking 
in different terms about it so all of those things   have really been an education to me in terms of 
um the importance of getting this right but also   if we're going to touch on this the fragile state 
to be honest of a lot of people's kind of finances   um when they um and it's not just down to their 
own individual responsibility you know there's   a lot of practices that contribute to that now 
it's such an important part of people's lives   you would expect there to be a very healthy market 
for good advice for this i read a great quote just   very coincidentally this morning someone 
said there's a huge market for poor advice   um but you know the market for good advice you'd 
expect people to be knocking down your doors to   get this disorder but but that's not always the 
case so you know why why do you think the uptake   of advice is sometimes quite quite low um you know 
does it does it potentially have an image problem   you know what's what's contributing to this uh 
slightly head in the sands uh attitudes sometimes   yeah a lot i think i think all those things are 
really relevant um i think what i'd probably   start with saying perception is reality so 
that undeniably perception plays a key part   and let's be honest the fact you're asking that 
question and it's kind of a credible question   illustrates the challenge um i think it's 
personally i think it's an accessibility and   awareness problem let's say rather than a problem 
we're all positive people on a friday morning   an opportunity that that's good but i think the 
industry doesn't help itself in the industry the   word advice means something very specific with 
standards rules actually huge safeguards for for   the consumer compared to doing something to learn 
do you think they're a bit off-putting yeah the   real world in everyday language advice is quite a 
quite a general term i think if if everyone on the   webinar now could just just pause for a second and 
think the last time someone either you asked for   it or they gave you or someone imparted you some 
advice from a friend or a neighbour and depending   on your friends sometimes you don't ask for that 
advice um but they give it anyway none of you will   have probably had any high expectations regarding 
the quality and the professionalism of it   to consumers advice really just means help and 
support i don't i just don't believe customers   naturally differentiate between the regulated and 
non-regulated forms that support even the quality   that support varies wildly so do you think given 
that you know the advice is quite a broad term do   you think that is but but in in general parlance 
but then in terms of a product offering it's quite   specific you know regulated do you think there 
may need to be maybe more of a spectrum of the way   that people engage with around advice yeah that's 
not something from the informal and self-serves   through to you know sitting across a desk with 
somebody yeah i think people ultimately don't know   don't know what it is and i think if we come 
back to the industry talks about an advice gap   so we know the demand for help and support if 
we talk about the retirement that we're talking   today we know that you said it's a big part of 
your life you thought it's the kind of thing you   think i might get a bit of help here for big 
decisions but this is a supply side problem   when it comes to professional advice and i think 
that accessibility part of that gap some people   can't afford to get financial advice 
because because of the supply side   advisors have been able to move upstream 
and say we need to set my minimum wealth so   those minimum requirements exclude people and i 
think these forces create an accessibility gap   and actually i think there's huge interest in 
that bit and the progress has been made in making   advice more accessible more affordable what we've 
done in terms of that hybrid offer of digitization   and codification but with a human center and 
going back to your point about different different   executions i think that's really important because 
for us we had an ambition to do it without a human   and it just didn't work the 
reassurance the confidence   the friction the commitment cliff just didn't 
work so you know we pivoted quite quickly   i think for other settings and different 
life stages the human could be a pen and   a pen in the bun um actually for some people that 
don't want that interaction i think the markings   markets really hot enough royal london acquired a 
fintech firm called wealth wizards i think they're   really impressive and that's a potential game 
changer for them m g wealth i've just announced   plans to create a hybrid advice officer look 
that can see a return from the man from the crew   but digitally so that's fascinating i think all 
those things are only positive for the consumer   but i think the bigger challenge which i 
think is what your question links to nathan is   the gap around perception and awareness that 
awareness part of the advice gap means people   aren't aware what advice is what it gives them and 
why people like them should even consider it so i   think that does drive an image challenge and it 
comes from a lack of understanding of what it is   so that's the industry's challenge to solve it's 
not on the consumer to be able to work out what   it is we need to make it easier to be accessible 
understand it but i think the challenges we talk   about a lot it feels intangible and for some it's 
solving problems or realizing opportunities they   didn't even know they had before that relationship 
so it's very difficult for them to imagine what   value they're going to get from it and just 
even the example you get about health point   so many examples triggers of some life event 
it forces you to take that step back oh god   and then that type of things and that i think 
that's really key but i think that awareness gap   is something i think everyone needs to work harder 
of different channels will help that helps the   accessibility but if people don't know what it is 
or why it's good for them and what could help them   that's a that's a challenge we have to close is 
that important is that influence your marketing   then or when when and where you try to engage with 
people in a different way rather than just saying you know what those triggers triggers are and 
and and broken broken your messaging down a bit   more yeah i think andy takes the credit for this 
really i think in terms of we tried to think of   two segments and we called them not not that 
imaginatively advice seekers people that know   who what advice is are probably further in the 
consideration process closer to the buying line   um but the comparing stuff but that market's 
quite small the market we've had more success   with arguably is what we'd call the retirement 
researchers people that have know they've got   a problem don't quite know what the problem 
is they want to be proactive in solving it   and it's then how we can help them to kind of take 
look low commitment actions and nudge them along   so you know bizarrely we've just started doing a 
um a retirement guide a guide so it feels really   traditional for what something i've said is 
that i'm trying to be innovative but we've put   a purchase funnel around it indigenously and 
people are just engaging with it on facebook   so that kind of channel point is is absolutely 
key but yeah thinking of those two different   segments unfortunately the advice seeking segment 
is actually small because of um because of that   awareness gap the need for advice is huge but 
people wouldn't necessarily pop themselves into   that segment unfortunately they're more in that 
they they're not starting the research and yeah   um you've actually what would you say is the 
buying line what typically is the buying line in   terms of the people that you're advising then you 
use that tail that's quite interesting it's tricky   it's tricky and one of the things probably um 
to touch on is so um responsibility is going to   the individual right responsibility is going to 
the individual and that's well documented right   documented around um people living longer stuff 
being passed from the employer to the to the   individual we were talking more about that but 
the one thing we see that people don't really talk   about is the choice of when and if to retire when 
and if like fascinating absolutely fascinating   right and that's a huge decision and i think about 
the closest to the final and we've had a customer   that keeps coming one of the planners was talking 
about it it keeps coming back and the guy keeps   saying i think i need to keep working i just need 
to keep working because the finances are a bit   and the financial planner keeps on the same so 
it's like let's let's always have a moment with   ourselves we both know you can afford to 
retire yeah we both know you don't want to   and it's that bad so i think it's to me it's one 
of the things it's that emotional acceptance and   that's a really key step in it and so the buying 
line for me is when you've got to that and i think   it's when you can get confidence for something 
that's intangible i think people have a penny   drop moment where they go i can see a weight's off 
my shoulders the weight's off my mind that's the   closeness to the buying line but look for everyone 
as anything you can move really close to it and   something drags you away so the skill is focusing 
i think reacting from a marketing perspective on   intent what are those intent triggers and i think 
it's a considered purchase so we use a lot of kind   of lead nurturing journeys um whether it's email 
or other aspects to just nudge people back further   along it but retirement advice can take six to 
twelve months sometimes for people to make that   decision it's not a short quick fast purchase 
sometimes i wish we were selling chocolate bars   but it's so that advice joe needs to go through 
and get you you come through could take six to   twelve months but i think what i get a sense 
of this and i've been working with you you know   people really ideally should be considering 
this earlier in their lives and and starting   the research as you as you said and you certainly 
want to engage people earlier because the earlier   they are the more um the opportunities are there 
are two effects affect their outcome but for you i   think that that that that raises a challenge and 
that becomes quite a long life cycle then or a   kind of a long relationship you know as opposed 
to you think of an ifa someone maybe walks in   through their door you know you set a session 
up then you work with them for for a couple of   weeks over a few sessions and the plans give them 
back you know but actually what we're saying is   you maybe need to change that to to a longer life 
life cycle that's quite a shift i think isn't it   yeah i think i think the longest lifestyle has 
two parts one is while you're almost coughting and   kind of deciding if you can work with each other 
but what we're trying to do as well now is we kind   of use the first how do you help people get ready 
for retirement because if i said to you nephilim   are you retiring the next 12 months you've kind 
of got that's a big quite yeah don't tell me   jessica but i'm thinking about it yeah yeah 
well um you don't look old enough as i said um   yeah the big big question it's quite a commitment 
to say well yes or no but if i said to you   you're probably going to retire in the next five 
years a lot of people say yeah hopefully probably   i'm hoping i'll do this the conversation 
changes from quite a defensive conversation of   well i don't know probably not to yeah 
aspirational and you get emotional bits   i think we're trying to change that 
conversation that doesn't mean about   gotta be careful how you frame it because 
actually if we start framing about   how much income you might have in retirement 
in five years time it's still a long way away   if you all think back to five years ago in your 
life look i've got two kids now i didn't have   a five year period like it's quite a long time and 
i think that's a that's the challenge i think it's   about then having other things to engage them 
with and i think one of the things we've talked   about is your phrase which i love which i've 
stolen and we've done some other stuff with this   but you know you've got to solve the emotional 
to enable the functional finances but i think   that's that's the key i can't even remember 
saying that but i'm glad that you might start but no we're gonna definitely touch on some of 
that i might yeah i i do remember where we came   from and it certainly came from i think a lot of 
the customer interviews we gave where as you say   a lot of these kind of a lot of them were kind 
of known uh issues and motive reasons people   would give them but of you could see words just 
come on people maybe just not given feeling they   had permission to retire yet when the when the 
finances were really really in place it was it was   really really interesting and we're definitely 
gonna i mean we always we talked a little bit   about the when and if they're gonna retire i 
think we'll come a little bit later on to the how   because that's definitely changing like how are 
you resign and what what time looks like i want   to say a little bit on them on the the negative 
side i guess which is the is the numbers you   know it's been referred to you know i remember 
the scene the phrase like a pensions car crash   like sort of like waiting to happen you know in 
terms of you know people are saving enough um   state state finances being stretched you know the 
state of um you know the shift from uh you know to   um the yeah just just the performance 
of kind of um pension funds as well and   all of the and then yeah under savings 
so all of these things and aging life   longevity and increased health and all these 
things come together now people individuals do   have a responsibility to to save themselves so 
why do you think people don't i mean you know   and that that covers why aren't people from their 
20s through to their 60s what what psychologically   things come into play yeah i think we're all 
human human nature we look at the experiences we   understand so you probably look to your parents 
right so you can look at your parents and other   people how they've retired and set for the future 
and look let's be honest previously people were   packed off with a carriage clock some retirement 
drinks and a guaranteed wage and retirement from   their employer so if that employer invested the 
money badly or people live longer than expected   um or if the actuaries said live too long 
um you know the employer footed the bill   um that responsibility is all in the consumer 
so i think it's a challenge of that's only   exacerbated by a 100-year life point people 
living longer hopefully in good health as well   lots of people retiring now will probably 
spend as much time in that retirement   as they did in their working life but don't 
think of that that's that's genuinely crazy   you know have that period of time and it might 
be slower pace or a different person hopefully a   good proportion of it is in good health but maybe 
not all of it is all those dynamics but all that's   kind of exacerbated by this extra choice that 
you have and i think the big challenge i see is   whether it's the 20s or whatever and we're going 
to come to automatic enrollment let's help that   people don't realize that responsibilities 
on them it's too intangible to too far away   so it's actually things like the power of 
behavioral science you know you've got to opt   out your workplace pension scheme now that's been 
hugely successful but the next challenge is when   those people arrive at retirement how are they 
able to execute it effectively because they were   used to not having a choice not having a decision 
that we've got that guaranteed paycheck and it's   that's really different and suddenly make those 
decisions and then unfortunately i think the   industry becomes quite pension-centric and look 
we've done it when we were coming in for first   guys i've i've seen it um so you know we're 
all we've all got a collective responsibility   but it becomes into more strange conversations 
around what could you get for a pension you get   some tax-free cash at the time so people are like 
focus on that thing it's kind of a simpler concept   but in isolation it's not really the question you 
should be answering and advice has a much broader   conversation so i think the challenge about 
the the safety comes back to that awareness   but also it's further ahead if you're younger well 
you might be saying for a house purchase now it's   it's it's priorities and i think you know the best 
of i'd love people to turn around in years to come   into card it was brilliant that i managed to um 
someone that sat next to at work told me i should   put as much money in my pension as possible type 
thing what what a great piece of advice that was   um and it's it's that kind of challenge but i 
think anything you can do to show the impact of it   and it's about confidence and i think removing 
friction the industry adds lots of friction like   even when you know we had a point when in lockdown 
version one we hadn't built e-signatures yet   yeah so we were asking customers to was asking one 
of our support team you know i remember having to   for risk i had to buy we had to buy her a bloody 
shredder so that she could prove she had her   i printing off amazon i just did it for my own 
house i'll buy you it just do it we need to print   these documents and then we were posting them out 
and people were signing them return to the office   you know friction and if you if you just if you've 
got friction in your way it just puts you off   especially if it's intangible so what we've tried 
to do is bring the value exchange further forward   show them what's possible i kind of try before you 
buy you wouldn't buy a car without test driving it   there was someone swinging someone from vanguard 
and used that quote and it was it was brilliant i   loved it um brilliant it's kind of you know 
efficiently that advice a lot of people say   you've got to you've got to you've got to pay 
before we'll let you even see what you're going   to get how do you remove that friction aspect to 
make it you know for something you've maybe not   had definitely probably not had given the numbers 
how would you make it more real i think that's a   great point i know you joined the the chat that 
we have with pensionbee and i think that one of   the reasons pensionbee was so successful is they 
just kept chipping away to try and remove friction   and make you know the migration of pensions and 
consolidation of pensions so so seamless um yeah   it definitely won me over and you know i mean yeah 
when somebody once somebody makes your life easy   and takes a problem away for you you start to 
do a trust with them as well so and so we're   going to touch a little bit on the advice like um 
and that's actually dialing back a little bit to   the hybrid offer that you that you're developing 
so he talks a little bit about the fact that a   hybrid offering can potentially bring costs 
down for a consumer what are the other   benefits do you think you know why why are you 
investing in building a hybrid offer what what   what can the technology do for you um and i know 
you you still have the bank of advisors in 1825   yeah um face to face yeah so so what 
can technology bring do you think to   to advice for both benefits of consumers and and 
to you to yourself as a business yeah a great   question there's two parts two parts to what we're 
doing with technology i think there's digitization   and this is codification so let's let's look at 
the digitization bit first i think within that   aspect it's better customer experiences right some 
things are just much better to do digitally and   let's let's be honest so i use chrome right chrome 
as my browser i'm annoyed when the website doesn't   let me do autofill and fill in my personal details 
when i'm buying something for the first time right   it's annoying lots of information you're capturing 
from a customer from a vice president in a fact   find some of it is what i call the hard facts 
that are boring unfortunately i'm going to need   your national insurance number at some point but 
typing that in is much easier than reading it out   and me typing it for you it's all little things 
like that but you know planning with your partner   having to spell the name i wanted to do his call 
and the advisor god bless him and the customer   lived in north allerton so i'm in yorkshire i 
know that's from and he had no idea he couldn't   misheard it and it was just this bizarre 90 
seconds of really awkward conversation because   sometimes it's easier to give data digitally 
sometimes it's easier to give it keep it verbally   so the technology can kind of do some of those 
things it can make it much more convenient right   let's be really honest the technology has to make 
it more convenient than a traditional business   where you have to go to someone's house or you 
have to go to someone's office exacerbated by   the lock down on the pandemic stuff anywhere but 
there's that aspect and the other aspects then is   speed and we haven't got that perfect yet we i'll 
hold my hands up we've got to keep working on that   in terms of driving so because we've got things 
that aren't perfect and bits where you cover it   goes from fully automated to a bit manual and all 
that breaks in the process but the speed could   be a good thing linking to convenience because 
you can do it anytime so that genuinely can be   convenient but then from it from a kind of low 
in the cost perspective you've got more control   you can bring more standardization 
you can bring more repeatability in   but i think the other thing you actually 
get is you should get better conversations   with the consumer you know rather than me chit 
chatting with you about the weather or your   dog or your amazon delivery that's coming 
or whatever delivery is coming you need to   build rapport the real way you build rapport 
and financial planning is getting into those   aspirational hurts and fears conversations and by 
us capturing a bit of information online digitally   consuming some of that in an advice engine 
we enable our financial clients to have that   conversation earlier that's how you build rapport 
having that valuable conversation earlier and   i think that i think that's key so it kind of 
covers that whole spectrum of convenience for   the digitisation convenience in the sense that 
some things are easier just to do digitally than   in person um or over the phone verbally 
and i think then the other aspects then   become around the speed the consistency 
the bringing value forward but then there's   a risk angle right there is a risk angle 
advice is really regulated people have um   our second largest function always an interest 
understandably the advice is perceived to be   risky or actually it's got lots of controls around 
it so that standardization can help that that's   really important that'll happen for any industry 
i think the closest thing i was thinking about   is like pharmaceutical or kind of a health care 
um i think it's like babylon health actually is   a really interesting thing that's that was done 
because similar dynamics speaking to an expert   but how have you tried to either triage or oh kind 
of i don't know do a bit of it up front you get to   know the digital body language by looking at what 
the customers do in advance it's the equivalent   of me looking out the window in the car park in 
the advice firm and saying right he's arrived in   that car or i'm looking at the lady's jewelry or 
i'm looking i'm not a thief even though i'm from   hole i promise uh i'm looking at his watch it's 
kind of but you've got you you'll be building some   social you've got to be careful from unconscious 
bias but you're building some clues and cues   digitally you can do a lot of that that could 
suddenly mean a more targeted better meaningful   relevant conversation and that's what it's about 
because if i said to you right at the start it's   intangible i don't know what i'm getting you can 
get to the heart of the matter it gives confidence   do you ever be able to take the human out of the 
loop i think for certain types of advice right   at retirement on the onboarding i'm not sure 
it's as easy as we think at the minute um i'm not   saying you can't you know again it's fascinating 
watching vanguard coming to this market they've   been doing it in the us for eight years they've 
had that background of it whereas some of us are   doing it for the first time that i saw richard 
was on m g wealth partnering with someone that   done yeah all these things you can all these 
things have to be possible you don't believe you   won't do it i think for us our focus now is in the 
ongoing advice and i won't go into the technical   detail but there's a type of review you do where 
people's circumstances haven't really changed   i don't see any reason why the machine and the 
human doesn't need to be involved the machine   can do it digitally can do it and then and the 
engine can make the decision there's no human   the question is do the customers perceive digital 
to be free and i think the value is the person   whereas actually what the technology is doing is 
much more sophisticated than what one individual   can do he's had lots of brains go into it 
i think that's a really fascinating dynamic every industry digital is perceived to be 
cheaper not as good well actually it can   be significantly better in lots of cases 
i think there's that perception as you say   yeah you want um women rapport you want their 
empathy and their trust and it just popped up   and i can't open it up again that doug brodie was 
just made the point that you know you won't build   that rapport with a 28 year old trying to build 
it with a 65 year old i think you kind of want   there's that image of what i'm paying for 
this you know i i want years of experience   and a trust and knowing someone's been through 
this before that that's a brilliant question um   observation actually one i was speaking to when i 
first came into the royal sports one of our first   to first financial advisor was a young guy in his 
early thirties late twenties um he looked young   um and yeah but what he said when he used to go 
and see your advisors first clients first to first   especially when they were handed over from another 
adviser to him that was older he would make sure   he dressed very particularly so he would always 
go suit thai always if you're seeing an older   generation which wouldn't normally for different 
p is fascinating because you're right people have   a perception again of what's required and now the 
reality is these people our advisors like one of   one of our buses john and and the people who are 
laughing at knowing look he looks really young and   we use his face on it all the time so it's kind of 
people might not appeal to that but the reality he   spends all day every day speaking to you about 
retirement he knows it better than someone that   does it bitter here and there but look they're 
the things that human biases that we all have   one of the things we're also playing with is how 
do you start to look at um how you might deploy   a female customer with a female fan show planner 
because you do see kind of stories of confidence we haven't we haven't done it as a choice yet but 
we do make sure we when we use the the kind of   um we use the human and digitally in the 
sense of with the pop-up in the journey and   it's in some random variation um but you know 
we could test does it have a bigger impact with   with certain people younger female male all that 
difference so yeah just need to be all the chance   to be more sophisticated it comes back again 
that digital body language and the ability for   we haven't talked about on the on the digital side 
you get more data you get data from a structured   format that you can analyze and actually 
then it's how you use it and draw conclusions   that's great yeah and we'll come and talk about 
how you innovate but let's take a little break for   a half an hour into for a couple of questions got 
some great ones um liam was straight in there so   really answered one of my colleagues um uh you 
know is there a particular myth around pensions   that you see pop up a lot that isn't true the 
fun uh no um the the the they are fun the the   one i would say that comes up all the time is 
people have this concept of this of tax-free cash and what people either say it says i have 
to take it and for some pensions is this   for the majority of what pensions have now will 
probably drive to the people on the call i've got   and you don't have to take it you don't 
have to take it in a wonder that's the   big one people assume that or if i'm going 
to take it i have to take the full 25 you're   done you don't have to do that and that's not 
great necessary from a tax planning perspective   you should feed it in at certain times depending 
on your other exhaustive income i think the third   one then the more worrying one is you get 
the other people it's um the phrase one of   our advisors uses is intelligently misinformed and 
it's it's not a criticism of the customers they've   done that bit of research they are trying to cut 
through all this complexity and then they said   well i've heard about his tax-free cash i know 
it's 25 and then they say can i take it every year   like well no unfortunately not you've got a pot 
or an allowance and we can spread it which is   interesting it's kind of a little bit of knowledge 
and i think you know the same as all of us it's   like i was thinking when you're buying a washing 
machine a washing machine was broken you're then   suddenly an expert on spin cycles and all the but 
normally you wouldn't be you're buying a duvet you   know about talks it's industry jargon and it's 
how do you how do you make sure from a financial   advice perspective a pension protective retirement 
perspective you can cut through and help customers   make decisions the challenge i think is from 
the industry pension providers give don't have   to always give advice some do and it's how you get 
that blend of decision support for help and help   and support but um the difference between guidance 
and advice for me is guidance can tell you   what you could do the advice tells you what you 
should do and i think that should is so important   that that can make such a big difference you don't 
have to do it but at least someone giving you an   opinion that should be relevant and suitable to 
what you're trying to achieve another question um   from graham carmichael emoji um obviously looking 
to get some tips um but yeah um what do you think   ongoing advice will look like in a digital world 
and we touched on this a little bit i think this   idea of taking it from a an event through to a 
service i guess you know and something that's   maybe with you through some of these through 
these through these life stages you know it   is there a product there or a service to do we 
think um and how much of a digital component might   might there be to that in the ongoing service 
just to yeah ongoing advice i think you know   i think i think i think again different life 
stages right so i think for us in in retirement   and drawing down an income and that lincoln can 
move up and down based on the performance of   where it's invested i think it is important 
to to kind of have an ongoing service right   the nature of those touch points could be quite 
different and that's why we're kind of thinking   about actually what we would call rather you know 
advisors have to make some meet certain rules   and make sure they can justify the ongoing 
advice for you this is maybe sometimes whether   the reputation is bad because sometimes nothing 
really changes but you've got someone on hand to   deal with it if it does and what we want to try 
and do is throw away because of the technology   we've got a greater view of when it's more 
likely to be a significant change it's not   like ai or anything it's just going with planned 
out you're planning to spend extra money for your   golden weighing anniversary you're planning 
to do part-time work and actually you think   you're gonna stop in three years so you know 
there's these more uncertain events i think what   we want to try and do is dial up or dial down 
the the kind of the nature of the interaction   because something it's sometimes a one size fit 
all well nothing's changed we're still going to   come and speak to you because that's how we're 
justifying our service whereas actually really   if we can justify ourselves to make sure the plan 
is up today i think one of the questions to quote   that i've kind of got in my nuts which i love 
retirement does not equal pensions i am absolutely   honest with that i totally agree and i think it's 
how do you manage those things because things can   change in your life and but i think there's a more 
opportunity in the ongoing service to do digital   stuff but the issue comes back to what we talked 
about before around do people think that human is   the value bit and like we're genuinely having a 
conversation around um do we need to slow it down   you know you might have already worked out the 
answer from a data capture consume the information   nothing's really changed we know the plan's 
still suitable and appropriate and ongoing   should we put a false kind of we're going to wait 
to look at it i'm going to come back to you with   your updated report in a few days almost to kind 
of a bit of theatre now we're not we're not trying   to mislead customers but that actually perversing 
where it gives more confidence so we're trying to   look at things that they might be completely 
flawed thinking might be completely flawed   we're just trying to think of some of those 
kind of different opportunities potentially   i think he does riffing a little on reese nielsen 
off of some questions recover some of his earlier   points but i think you know he was saying you 
know um retirement doesn't need for pensions   and vice versa um but there's a question that i 
think about you know i guess the appropriateness   of the products that there's the advice that you 
can offer you know can given the complexity of   of what retirement is now you know no two 
retirements are alike you know is the advice   products fit for both can you can you cope 
with all of this um you know the diversion   possibilities another products behind the 
advice you know still appropriate these days to   do do you think for the for the fast changing 
nature of what retirement is today yeah i i   think the kind of underlying products and the 
underlying regulations haven't really innovated   a lot i think the regulator knows that they've 
had a few call for kind of inputs you could   probably argue that the rules are analog 
rules for a digital world uh if i'm honest   so it's how do you how do you deal with that i 
think the product set hasn't changed i don't think   that's necessarily a problem because what you 
need to have is a broad enough view that pension   every time doesn't equal pension you know what 
we're trying to factor into a retirement plan is   part time working and maybe you've got 
something you're looking for some rental income   maybe you're going to have an 
inheritance or downsize in the future   these things aren't financial products 
but they're going to have such a driver on   um the overall where you ship that income 
that you take from a product or invest money   is absolutely key so i think it i think it does 
vary i think there could be more innovation   inclined products i think guarantees have a role 
to play um which they haven't for a long time   people have moved away from annuities potentially 
they might think they'll come back um but i   think the other thing says you get your state 
pension right your state pensions your underpin   but it's how you deal with that bit that 
we call the bridging period i think that's   where our service is really strong that kind of 
period between before my state pensions come in i   might be part-time working so i've got a source of 
income what's the most tax efficient way to access   my savings my life savings and kind of i kind of 
drive that out we've got so many great questions   um and we've already gone wildly off scripts 
but uh no no we really had the scripts but still   i do want this a couple what i do want to cover 
because this again a particular bugbear of mine   um is marketing and the marketing to the 
over 50s and the way that over 50s are   represented in marketing and it's not just in 
financial services but financial services have   typically been pretty bad at it so the the over 
50s um have 70 percent of the wealth in the uk   and i remember reading a couple of years but 
only five percent of marketing spend is directed   at them so that for one they were massively 
under served segment and then when you do see   a lot of the messages it's normally about you're 
going to get old you're going to get ill you're   going to get you're going to die you know or 
the only thing that's going to be of interest   in your life is your grandkids now obviously 
everybody loves but it's not the only thing   that's going on in their lives how so what's 
what's your view on you know how to engage in   you know this this really important um and diverse 
market and what did you learn i guess in terms of   in your recent class of 2021 survey um about the 
lives that these that this segment's living and   maybe maybe maybe wasn't this you know what's the 
stereo stereotypical trends yeah looks i'll i'll   come to the class explain what the class of 2021 
research is and kind of come into that i think   just pick on your first point around the old piece 
i think you've got to solve that emotional to   enable the functional and the functional from the 
industry the focus is very much that functional   and i think because people hear directly 
from their pension providers with honest   let's be honest a pension-centric message it 
risks coming across as old and i think one of   the things we found in the research actually uh 
the class of research was one in three people that   were retiring a worry for that one and three 
was the act of retiring they would then be be   perceived to be old like that in itself was a 
problem that that was putting them off that's   that was a worry and then come back to that point 
actually making the decision so i think from a   kind of um an acquisition perspective one of the 
phrases of the terms from adwords and google early   retirement perhaps unsurprisingly is the one we've 
seen an important search term when it comes to   retirement advice and researching um because 
it's probably got a typically more aspirational   intent to get your retirement wish list and start 
exploring that life you've not let live so i think   we should be careful that we don't stereotypically 
do something but i will caveat that with when i   hate this um but it but it's cliche but it 
keeps coming up and it's kind of i find it   annoying right um but cliche keeps going up for 
all i'm saying don't want to see people be seen   as old don't want to have stereotypes honestly 
everyone that we've not like from but so many   people we speak to disproportionately 
they say they want to buy a caravan   it's like it came up some user testing right 
at the start of the program and it just keeps   coming up with customers now so i think all this 
chat around portugal and green amber and red list   and all that stuff well the whole industries 
are struggling everywhere aviation oh the   other gathering the caribbean motor motorhome is 
booming for your money and caravans it's bizarre   um so i think the overfitters are interesting 
bunch they are old concerning how long they're   expected to live and how long they could spend in 
that next phase but look let's just look at that   class of 2021 research because um what we did was 
just for people to give some context to it was we   we did some we surveyed people a thousand people 
who would retired in 2020 not just a stranger   and a thousand people planning to retire in 2021 
and what we call a class of report so we'll follow   the each year the sentiments their feelings 
and the challenges of people retiring in those   years there's cohorts all those classes like an 
american kind of graduation type thing um and i   have to be honest i felt really privileged reading 
some of the the free text the bets and comments   there was one of the questions for the people that 
retired in 2020 we said what would be your advice   to someone retiring in the next 12 months and 
again advice not financial advice not regulated   advice just tips hints and tricks and we had over 
from a thousand people so it wasn't a mandatory   question we had over 800 free text responses 
so what conversion kind of response people were   always willing to give their opinion i suppose but 
it was so insightful there were so many things of   um do it um you know positive stuff seize the day 
type although i have to admit it was a personal   favorite a beautiful type of um carpet diem rather 
than carbonyl that was a that was a good one and   but for me the biggest aspect was the emotional 
element uh the positive anticipation but also that   genuine apprehensions from some and the importance 
of having a plan and a plan been across emotional   physical and financial and the physical bits 
about being active often health related but some   of the things they want to do it's not like i'm 
just gonna go you know gardening still comes up   right there's still some stereotypical stuff being 
closer to nature but there's lots of active stuff   still coming up as well in terms of what they want 
to do for the time but i think one element um you   know it's it's so important just having because 
of one part of it you have a few things within   it and i think that's where we haven't really 
touched them yet but part-time work is so key   whether part-time work is and paid or unpaid 
actually i think that's a really fascinating and   fascinating thing because knowing whether you're 
doing part-time work whether paid or unpaid   for your finances and this is why i'm searching 
for libraries including the financial plan   and knowing if you do because you need it because 
your finances to be planned at your time and plan   to stack up and actually you might be doing it 
because you need the money or you might be doing   it because you can't afford to work full-time 
because health caring commitments with grandkids   potentially or other caring commitments or are 
you doing the part-time work paid or unpaid   purely for stimulation enjoyment and that 
genuinely the paycheck is an afterthought   and i think by having the financial planner and 
the financial advice be able to know you look   at that and you know the reason why if you know 
the primary driver is that social interaction   that purpose that mental stimulation well actually 
it's the emotional aspect and you having that huge   understanding and clarity and confidence gives 
you freeing flexibility to act if you stopped   enjoying it for anyways now imagine all of us 
right we've all had days and i'm worried about my   teacher and my team are on this call they're all 
up there so if i'm about to do my head i'm gonna   pack it all in imagine knowing you could just pack 
it all in it takes the pressure off the stress   and actually that was what a difference 
that can make so part-time work for me is   something that i think could make a huge 
difference to consumers and the over 50s group   the challenge i would have is i'm going to talk 
on tuesday with the pension lifetime savings   association the challenge i refer to employers 
is i don't think employers are set up to do it   i think they give it a bit of lip service that we 
support flexible working we support the transition   through this year that maybe maybe we know we will 
see some more flexibility in the workplace um i   think we're coming in we're coming up on time 
and there's one couple of questions i want to   um i want to get off pretty quickly i 
think and then we'll um uh we'll close   off with another couple of questions so one 
is like um innovation you know uh is know i i   genuinely feel what you guys are doing and 
attempting to do is uh it's is you know it's   innovative and pushing pushing the products um 
is is there much innovation in your space are   you seeing much innovation in your space and 
and also how um you know any tips and tricks   to to to to innovate in a in a quite a governed 
and in any standard life let's just be honest   you know of uh of an organization um yeah how 
how do you innovate and you know and and who's   what's driving innovation for you yeah let's 
do the second part of that question first so   i think it's about having the confidence to 
be progressive having trust in each other   that some things will fail and really importantly 
acknowledging that they've failed it's not a blame   game but it's so important to acknowledge do the 
acknowledgement part because then you've concluded   you've concluded that something was learned and 
otherwise you end up going through a cycle and   you say oh we'll do an idea that was pretty much 
the same as the other one because you've not   naturally concluded and looked at your data 
enough so it does come down to materiality   and knowing sometimes that you need 
to break the rules a bit and look   um you've worked with them some of my team 
won't do that more than others and look   i i love working with them but the challenge i 
have is creating an environment to let them do   it effectively because their intentions are always 
based on ambition and progressiveness they're not   trying to do something dodgy but it's kind of 
how we navigate that large organization i think   there's these kind of disciplines you want from a 
startup that let's not pretend you are a startup   in a big company you're not but you can you can 
do some of the disciplines so i think things are   put that put your offer in your customers 
quickly listen to what they're saying and   doing also what they're not doing do you use 
testing do ux research we use a ux researcher   which i think he's great but he god i used to 
hit the meetings with him because he tell you   this stuff and holds this mirror right in your 
face and you're like oh please remind me chance   david hamill yeah but but we i used to hate them 
i mean my friendship but he doesn't he doesn't   hold back the difference such a difference to us 
that was really important i think look at their   live usage is that digital boy language where it's 
full story or other kit and look and for me having   previously done client-facing roles i'm a massive 
fan of listening to the practitioners that are   on the front line on the cold face speaking to 
customers every day but colleague and customer   feedback loops are key i think the one challenge 
i'd say the thing i observe is if you're listening   to them sometimes they might get disengaged by you 
then not suddenly some of them go on a backlog it   doesn't mean that you listen to them but doesn't 
necessarily mean you're going to immediately solve   that problem but that feedback loop is absolutely 
key and see things change i think the other   thing i'm kind of learning at the minute it's a 
really interesting challenge as we go through a   different stage of maturity and some people on 
the call get different stages in this process   i think it's about the timing when is the timing 
of your progressive idea or innovation pitched   in terms of that stage of maturity or 
what the competitive environment is doing   so i would say it's about closing what 
i would call the size of the belief gap   or the credibility gap because sometimes the size 
of that gap suddenly becomes smaller because a   competitor has done it or actually because you've 
made some other connected adjacent steps that   suddenly make it seem more doable i would actually 
say you have to be opportunistic so actually look   and there's some guys on the phone from mmg 
uh today i've said look m g are in here now   what a big company what a great company they're 
going to be all over this so i'm using some of   that to agitate a little bit because i've 
got that kind of bit of vanguard a couple   of months before it's helpful the market's 
going up and i think we're discussing things   now that we probably brought up two years ago 
and i wasn't leading the area at the time i was   probably sitting there in the team kind of going 
to be frank some of these ideas sounded fanciful   like it was just not credible no one believed it 
was possible and it was a distraction whereas now   people inside and outside the team can 
see given progress here here and here so if you can shut that belief close the belief 
gap close the credibility can get your timing   right i think that's what i would encourage look 
yeah you've got to bring risk with you at certain   points but i think everyone knows that it's just 
trying to get the right right right challenge   imagine the dependencies not giving you know no 
free decisions so i'm a big believer in conscious   decisions sometimes certain areas sign things 
off and it's free there's no consequence to the   decisions how do you put them as a consequence 
of that decision this is the consequence   and we'll still make the same one that 
would have done if it was a free decision   let's get a couple of questions dave's 
asked a great one dave ward around esg   environmental sustainable governments uh 
and um yeah you know put your money um   where it's gonna make a difference and um 
you read an article recently indicate the   public say one thing they want companies to act 
ethically then act another way when it comes to   the decisions they're making about their own 
money um so is esg influencing um retirement   decisions or where the money kind of goes 
does it come up in those kind of conversations   um you know and when it comes to ethical 
issues is it is it a challenge for the advice   market okay so um from a sound life aberdeen 
perspective soon to be aberdeen perspective look   we're massive massive fans of massive supporters 
of esg we think it's hugely important from account   we have large shareholders in companies we've got 
influence really really important so it will move   when i was in my kind of work place where i used 
to spend time with employees in workplaces the   challenge you've got is lots of people don't 
even know they're in if they know the saving   into a pension not for retirement is good they 
don't necessarily even know they're invested   the the delayed pass on the streets so making the 
connection um between you still there nothing yeah   so he was really still i was have i dropped off i 
was just taking a question this where you should   have written stars up a lot drops off the wi-fi 
so really really really um really important but   are they making that connection so i think it 
comes down to do people is the investment the   most important part for people and i personally 
and customers we speak to it's not at the minute   really honest that i think something will cause 
those triggers and it is important and i think   big institutions have a responsibility to drive 
better outcomes for it but when you talk about   the individual decision maker i'm not sure that 
that's the immediate concern maybe you could have   some clever kind of wizzy things for a different 
younger generation on starting serving might be a   way to appeal to them you have to make it tangible 
again how they actually influencing the customers   the company's decisions so i think for us at 
retirement we've not yet seen it come through   we could consider it some regulations you need 
to kind of keep an eye on that kind of be talked   about esg and choices but i think the the thing we 
need to be kind of mindful of is it's more about   mean retirement more than pension what it means 
in your life all that kind of other aspects i   think i think would have a more bigger impact than 
the choice of investment decision but look we all   want to feel well and fuzzy about ourselves but 
we all convince ourselves we're all not rational   right we'll convince ourselves well i'm 
gonna buy that for me because it's good   you know but it's a flawed argument for your 
previous purchase that you've decided for   so we just need to be realistic of that i 
think i think we're all complex characters but   institutions i think have a huge role to play 
i'm not yet seeing it come through to the   individual but that doesn't mean any work come 
it's going to be what causes that trigger um   um i think we'll nearly wrap up we always 
ask everybody about um you know we strong   believers and healthy happy teams you know 
you can't get anything done you know unless   you're kind of working well and working well 
together you know it's a great future we   we do a lot to try and you know work closely with 
the clients and also to you know to invest in that   you know teams um to keep them healthy what 
have you been doing over the last 12 months   you know it's kind of keep people um healthy happy 
motivated and and and moving the product forward   you know through through this period of disruption 
yeah it's been it's been it's been funny like you   know we were a co-located cross-functional team 
i don't think uh let's all never never see each   other in person for a year and all work from 
home was probably top of our list for increasing   productivity and innovation but i think the 
guys have done really well there was initial   friction about access initially but i think a 
couple of things i think they did and i think   what i would discover is how do you get the 
impromptu and the informal that's the bit   that's been hard to create and how do you recreate 
that that's so powerful because the impromptu and   formula the things that give you the boots 
the coffee filter or wandering to the canteen   it's the boost you get it's the laugh it's the 
energy it's the great idea it's the connection   how do you create that i think the nature 
of being remote you have to effectively um   have a little bit more formalities you've at least 
tell people the time to turn up so it's by nature   it's got a meeting invite for even the informal 
thing so the guys doing great at the start which   was we used a bit kit called were buy and we just 
set up a a room that was called the coffee lounge   and people could just wander into it down into 
the video can't just have a chat 15 minutes 9 15   on a um on a couple of mornings in a week so 
that was great but again it's how do you keep   things fresh and it that those things were 
on the course and the other thing we did was   we've made sure we had time in the day tried to 
increase well not to our meetings so if we get   outside in the light you know most of the team 
immersed in scotland that time period of light   isn't long you know that lift and you know you 
got to get out of the daylight so there's all   those aspects so i think we've done those things 
i think going forward the really hard thing is   people have got different preferences 
now like some spent on live stage want to   want to work from home some want to be a desperate 
to be in the office i think we've all been really   cognizant of what do other people think and avoid 
any unconscious bias i have a massive fear of   like suddenly seeing this meeting that will be 
four people in the office sat at desks within   earshot of each other having to go on a mute 
on teams with one other person at home because   four were in the office and one are at home and 
actually the four in the office thinking why hell   if we come in so i think if you're really clear 
about for what environment for what tasks can you   kind of solve and i think being really organized 
when the right people are in the environment in an   office or not so i think sprint cycles could work 
quite well for that about certain days certainly   you're in i know you normally work at 
home but come in for this that's right   i think i think everyone's doing fantastically 
well i think people have been really   innovative but it's been a drag as well let's 
not kid ourselves it's not having some negative   impacts but i think overall people well i've been 
looking to see more of the kids i have to admit   i've got you know nearly two nearly four year old 
that's been that's been great right well look it's   been a fantastic chat i um it's just a great topic 
i could keep chatting but we're running to the end   of the time so i'm gonna say thank you and i'm 
sure everybody will join me in in that as well   um we uh we will type a summary of this 
up and and uh will go on as a blog post um   if you wanted to just kind of recap on on 
stuff as well and then the video will go up in   a few days as well um we'll share share that 
around um yeah but for now uh just thanks again   on a friday for for ben for joining us 
and thanks to everybody else who came uh   and yeah a couple of things coming up in the 
chat so thanks for that's really appreciated   um have a great day everybody um announcement on 
the next one i think we're planning to do a name   these probably every kind of couple of months 
and actually we bring in some other different   types of chat so we're we're lining up one on 
co-design with the ulster university so keep   an eye out for that that's coming up soon um so 
um but for now thanks thanks uh thanks again ben   yeah thanks everyone that's really good good 
to see you and hope your package comes and   uh yeah thanks for that yeah thanks very 
much again everybody enjoy your weekends you

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