The retirement and pension services industry has been slow to digitise. With simplicity and customer experience coming to the forefront of the wealth management space via technology, utilising emerging technologies to manage pension services will be welcomed by customers.

GlobalData’s 2021 Financial Services Consumer Survey conveys that while more than half of retired investors globally do prefer traditional players to manage their investments, there is still a notable proportion that would favour digital players and the customer experience they bring to the table. So, traditional players should not be resting on their laurels assuming that only millennials are keen on new digital wealth management services. Despite not being digital natives, the older generation are not all that shy of technology either.

In addition, in a digital world where people live on their smartphones, individuals expect seamless services and experiences how, when, and where they want them. GlobalData’s survey also showcases that no matter whether an investor is already retired, in full-time employment, or self-employed, a multi-channel communication experience is in demand. Therefore, pension providers should not ignore the need for personalisation from a communication perspective. Clients want to be able to access the support they need when and wherever they need it.

Positively, there are examples of both the old guard and new digital players developing retirement services. Charles Schwab offers a compelling hybrid multi-generational retirement product, UK digital pension provider Pension Bee has more than doubled its assets under management in the past year, and robo-adviser Nutmeg offers both pension and will services. So evidently, players are beginning to take note, but more need to follow suit in order to remain competitive.

Providers must remember though that advising clients in the retirement age is just as important as ensuring next-generation clients still hold onto the wealth being passed down or inherited. Having a full-circle service is key: one that keeps the next generation satisfied, as well as the current wealth holders.

As the rest of the wealth management industry digitalises to attract the next generation of investors and broaden access to more customers, the retirement space must adapt too. With more and more examples of players adapting to this change, those who do not join will suffer consequences. The need for seamless and personalised services is growing, and meeting this need is key for longevity. This, too, goes for players’ pension services. Wealth managers who are able to introduce engaging digital retirement services, with one that is cross-generationally focused, will prevail.