RDR led to a significant reduction of advisers supporting the mass market so that less than 3% of UK consumers are now getting regular access to regulated financial advice.
Pensions Freedom and Choice has added complexity to the At-Retirement decision-making process. When before most defaulted straight into an annuity, often selected for them, today you can take it all out from 55, go into Drawdown, select a hybrid option including part annuity part-UFPLS or Drawdown etc.
Sources of retirement income are likely to be more diverse - Buy to let income, LISA, general investmnets, equity release, auto-enrollment and the number of pensions all likely to be in the mix
Demographic shifts: We are living longer beyond traditional retirement age and inheriting assets much later.
Imago Self Direct is set of web tools for consumers and advisers alike that helps users understand choices available in investing or saving and planning for retirement. Tools play a significant part in helping to educate and build up understanding of the choices and consequences of the flexibility with pensions and other income to ensure better outcomes in retirement.
Imago Self Direct:
- Supports better financial outcomes
- Stimulates customer loyalty and engagement
- Stimulates deeper investment, swelling assets under management
- Provides rich source of business intelligence
There are three tools in the Imago Self Direct suite:
- Imago Self Direct - Investments, a tool to illustrate investment objectives and decisions, such as ISAs and general investments.
- Imago Self Direct - Savings, a tool to illustrate the savings that are needed for retirement plans.
- Imago Self Direct - Retirement, a tool to illustrate variable and fixed income options, including Income Drawdown, Annuities and the State Pension. The user can alter income values and timings to get immediate feedback on their retirement options.
Imago Self Direct is deployed using the tried and tested Imago Front Office calculation engine, that is widely used throughout the market, providing illustrations across many product providers and platforms.
Products that Imago Self Direct illustrates are configured with the Imago Front Office Administration Tool to provide charging and fee structures that meet the unique and personalised needs of product providers, platforms and advisers for the pensions and savings market. As all illustrations are hard-wired into Imago Front Office it means that all calculations absorb charging and fee structures of specific product providers, platforms and advisers for the pensions and savings market to ensure a level of accuracy which makes it possible for providers and platforms to use these tools to assist online visitors in making decisions which stimulate more saving, investment and ultimately stimulate customer loyalty and engagement
Case Study - Alliance Trust Savings selects Dunstan Thomas Imago toolset to aid D2C retirement decision-making in response to Pension Freedoms.
Dunstan Thomas has won a major contract to provide three modules of its growing Imago Self Direct toolset to support Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) D2C platform. The Imago Self Direct tools are integrated with the software provider Imago Front Office calculation engine which ATS deployed several years ago.
Dunstan Thomas Imago Self Direct toolset was rolled out at the beginning of the year to meet the needs of the growing D2C market as it prepared to assist consumers with their wider retirement choices after Freedom Day on 6th April.
ATS has now deployed Imago Self Direct Savings - a pre-retirement tool which helps users to work out how much they need to save in various retirement saving pots, in order to deliver target income levels through an estimated number of years of retirement.
ATS has deployed a second tool called Imago Self Direct At-Retirement which assists at-retirement decision-making including offering blending of drawdown and annuity income with Universal State Pension and other anticipated retirement income. The tool also takes account of the latest tax rules and adjusts income accordingly.
A third Imago Self Direct tool performs Contribution Analysis for consumers exploring the option of funding their retirement through ISA savings, taking account of current maximum annual ISA savings allowances.
Dunstan Thomas Imago Self Direct toolset is proving popular with platform providers because they can be configured to exactly reflect the charges and growth projections of specific underlying assets held. This depth of alignment ensures accuracy.
Sara Wilson, platforms director, Alliance Trust Savings, commented:
"Dunstan Thomas has been our technology partner for pension illustrations for over 10 years already. With the arrival of Pension Freedoms, consumers are faced with new and complex retirement choices. We found Dunstan Thomas the ideal partner to deliver tools designed to give our customers the insights they needed to help them navigate through these difficult pre- and at-retirement decisions.
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