Technology is becoming ever more important for SIPP providers looking both to attract and stay relevant to younger clients.
New research from iPensions Group found that more than three quarters (77%) of advisers say younger generations have increasingly come to regard technology as significant when choosing a provider. However, only half (52%) of advisers say they fully understand how clients are using tech.
Sandra Robertson, group CEO, iPensions, said: “The SIPP market is expanding year on year with new members investing and new products being launched to meet demand but advisers are clearly concerned that without technology investment, SIPPs may no longer appear attractive to suitable clients. Adviser and member portals are increasingly a must-have for providers who want to compete.”
However, Robertson cautioned that technology was not the ‘be all and end all’ and should be combined with strong and reliable customer service.
Commenting on the growing demand for technology, Jessica List, pension technical manager, Curtis Banks said: “Over the last few years, many people have been introduced to pensions sooner than they might otherwise have been due to auto-enrolment. If we want to encourage those individuals to become fully engaged with retirement planning, then we need to make pensions engaging.
“Many of those approaching retirement planning for the first time will be used to dealing with their finances quickly and easily online and will understandably expect similar technological support from their pensions. That is why we spent a great deal of time listening to feedback and designing our adviser and client portal, it is all about giving access and control when they need it.”
Stephen McPhillips, technical sales director, Dentons, said there was little doubt that technology is shaping people’s personal and professional lives, even more so in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to the changing dynamics, Dentons said it had fully embraced the use of industry-wide technology solutions such as DocuSign, Zoom and Microsoft Teams as well as integrated with adviser service provider Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office to create greater efficiencies for advisers and clients.
However, McPhillips echoed the sentiment of iPensions in noting that technology alone could not make a compelling proposition.
He added: “Technology is only one part of the equation when it comes to delivery of best-in-class service. If effective use of technology is partnered with highly personalised levels of service, it can create a compelling proposition for clients – both young and old; there is a limit to how often anyone wishes to sit in call queues, working their way through automated call menu options and hoping to speak to a human being at the end of that process.”