A new automated Fintech that supports corporate HR teams in enabling employees to consolidate multiple workplace pensions into an existing pension pot has been launched by Zippen, the pension consolidation business.
The new system will enable HR teams to offer a more comprehensive benefit to employees without the need to open new pension pots or the large costs associated with pension management.
Where current consolidation services require a further pension to be created into which all other pensions are merged, Zippen does not. Zippen is a fully FCA regulated simplified advice consolidation service that manages the complexity of a pension switching in a safe, cost-effective and compliant way, transferring pensions into an existing scheme, if there is a clear benefit in doing so.
How Zippen works as an employee benefit is simple: Zippen helps employees find the relevant information about their pensions and presents that information to them on a secure platform. From the information provided, the system seeks to trace an employee’s pensions, and advises whether it is appropriate for the employee to consolidate their pensions without losing any valuable guarantees. An estimate is provided of any potential savings, and if the employee wishes to see the detail behind the recommendation to make an informed decision, there is a one-off fee for doing so.
How the cost is met is down to the individual company providing the benefit. They may choose to fund the cost entirely, or part-fund it by way of a matching contribution as they may with other employee benefits (e.g healthcare). If paid by the employer, it is counted as a legitimate business expense and can be offset against Corporation Tax.
Born out of an FCA Sandbox, a test bed for new innovations in finance, and more than three-years in of development, Zippen is the brainchild of Pensions expert Stuart Feast, an IFA with more than 35 years’ experience: “Pensions can be a minefield at the best of times, and HR teams are understandably cautious as to how employee pensions are handled,” he explains.
“Those who are well-informed already recognise that accidentally providing advice can land them into all sorts of hot water, which is why IFAs or pensions administrators are employed. But the cost for onboarding new joiners is often disproportionate to the amount of work involved which is why we are providing a simple and transparent fixed fee pricing model based on total pot value.”
“What is important to note,” Stuart continues, “is that the ‘typical’ cost will be in the range of £95 - £195 as against the cost for delivering a commensurate service via an IFA which could be 10 times more expensive – assuming they even want to take it on.
“Simplified financial advice is then provided around the recommended consolidation option. If they do wish to consolidate, we organise all the paperwork and guide them through the process via the platform, with live chat or direct support only a phone call away.”
Stuart says that in a landscape that is only likely to become more complex, especially in a post-COVID
World: “Being able to present employees with a pension consolidation service that adds real value and significance to the employer/employee relationship gives HR teams a new tool to attract, onboard and retain their staff,” he says.
“In doing so, they can be safe in the knowledge that they are not only compliant, but also playing an important part in addressing the advice gap that threatens to rob individuals of important advice.”
Zippen is fully independent and has no ties to any institutional investment companies.