Last week  Benefits Guru published the 2022 Financial Wellness Ratings to help providers, employees and advisers stay up to date on this fast-moving market, whilst also encouraging further innovation in financial wellness propositions. 

This insight takes a deeper dive into how Standard Life scored.

Standard life took part in both sets of ratings, which looked in detail at it’s Financial Wellness offerings with and with Open Finance.

Standard Life scored an over all GOLD award for both their Group Flexible Retirement Plan (GFRP) and DC Master Trust, achiving FOUR overall gold awarsds in total.

The ratings provide clarity on the variety of tools and services which are available via Workplace Pension providers, to help advisers and employers identify the propositions that will help improve financial outcomes for members and highlight areas where providers could enhance their offerings.

Gail Izat,Workplace Director said;At Standard Life we are driven by our purpose of helping people secure a life of possibilities. Building confidence in finances and increasing overall financial wellness can have a significant impact on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

As part of the UK’s largest retirement and saving business, we have an important role to play in supporting members with a range of communications and solutions across all life stages.

We are delighted to have been awarded Gold ratings recognising the positive impact our proposition, including our Money Mindset Open Finance platform, can have on members’ financial wellness


Addressing Vulnerable Customers:

This years ratings includes a new area which looks in detail at how pension providers identify and address vulnerable customers.

Standard Life have a very strong process in place in order to help identify vulnerable customers. They follow the FCA four principles to ensure fair treatment and have a dedicated team to identify and address vulnerable customers.

All frontline staff are trained quarterly, and they have a dedicated webpages & areas in the member app/portal to provide additional support.

They have also partnered with the following charities and support groups: Money Helper, Samaritans, National Debt Line, Citizens Advice, Step Change.

Savings Vehicles and Smart Saving:

Standard Life currently offer a cash ISA, stocks & shares ISA, JISA, LISA and GIA all via Cushon as part of their pension proposition. All products allow one off payments to be made by the member via the app or portal.

Financial Education (Generic content):

Standard Life provide a very good level of generic financial education to their members which includes information on what a pension is, the state pension, death benefits, retirement options, investment options and savings. They also provide information on wills and help setting one up.

This is delivered via online support, face-to-face sessions, video content and the mobile app. They also have the ability to host bespoke content provided by the employer.

Research and Educational Events:

Standard Life conduct external research in order to gain a better understanding of what their users want from a financial wellness program.

This includes questionnaires, interviews, case studies and focus group with their members, employer clients, the general public and advisers. They also host financial wellness event for advisers, employers and members and have a dedicated financial wellness team.

Micro Savings Functionality:

Standard Life are one of the few providers to offer a Micro Savings functionality as part of their proposition.

Members can create one off savings and impulse saving to their ISA, JISA, LISA, GIA or Pension, giving the user the ability to contribute flexible amounts of money into their savings.

Open Finance:

Standard Life have partnered with a third party to deliver open finance technology via their workplace pension proposition. This will include data from current/savings accounts and credit cards, including partner and joint accounts. They can connect with all high street and challenger banks.

There is no limit to the number of accounts which can be connected, and they will automatically categorise all transactions.

Standard Life use the open banking data to help drive better personalised financial outcomes for the end user with intelligent messages to help with spending, saving and debt.

We have carried further detailed analysis of the Standard Life Money Mindset Open Finance platform which we will explore in more detail later in the week.