Following part one on Tuesday, today’s insight looks at the mobile applications on offer from workplace pension providers, who has access to them and what services and functionality is included.
One area that very much differentiates some workplace pension provider apps is whether they are view/read only or if they are transactional. Only the apps from Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows GSIPP and Scottish Widows Master Trust are read only. The others all offer some form of transaction within the app.
However, it is worth noting that transactions within the app for Aviva Designer, Aviva My Money, Aviva My Money Master Trust and Royal London are not carried out in real time.
When it comes to changing personal and retirement planning details within the application, there is a broad range of functionality on offer with the majority of providers facilitating changing retirement dates, beneficiaries, transfers, top ups, fund switches, address, telephone and email details within the app.
Other than Aegon Master Trust and Hargreaves Lansdown, members can also use their app to model different retirement outcomes. This includes the use of retirement planning tools for all providers other than True Potential.
Even the most tech-savvy of app users are likely to have queries from time to time. Our data shows that all providers other than Fidelity, Fidelity Master Trust, Legal & General and Legal & General Master Trust have a dedicated telephone helpline for app queries and questions which is shown clearly in the app. To use this facility members will all need to pass additional telephone security checks.
Aviva Designer, Aviva My Money, Aviva My Money Master Trust, Legal & General, Legal & General Master Trust, Mercer Master Trust Aviva, Mercer Master trust Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows GSIPP, Scottish Widows Master Trust and True Potential all have a dedicated webchat facility for app questions and queries.
Cushon, Legal & General and Legal & General Master Trust also have a Chatbot service available within the app for questions and queries.
When it comes to receiving messages, other than Hargreaves Lansdown all workplace pension provider apps have the functionality to send push notification messages.
Secure messaging is also supported by all provider apps other than those offered by Fidelity, Fidelity Master Trust and Royal London. However only Legal & General, Legal & General Master Trust, Standard Life, Standard Life DC Master Trust and True Potential’s secure messaging services allow for documents to be uploaded and shared.
Accessing documents via the app is also widely supported. Only Hargreaves Lansdown, Royal London, Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows GSIPP and Scottish Widows Master Trust do not offer a document folder in their app where the member can access all important plan related documents.
Overall, our data shows that workplace pension providers are embracing mobile applications and have developed additional functionality over the past year. Which is very encouraging to see. The apps from Legal & General and Legal & General Master Trust offer the broadest range of products and functionality and the app from Hargreaves Lansdown currently offers the least.