Video tutorial: Smarterly's Phil Hollingdale on the digital disruption in workplace savings

The status quo in workplace savings needs disrupting, according to Phil Hollingdale, co-founder of Smarterly.

People aren’t saving enough and those that do save aren’t making smart decisions, he told delegates at the REBA Innovation Day. Existing debt, poor financial awareness and a lack of engagement were all contributing factors to poor saving habits, he said.

Whilst auto-enrolment has helped for pension savings it’s not working as an engagement tool – largely because retirement is so far out, he said.

Hollingdale pointed out that savings aren’t just for retirement. “We need to disrupt workplace savings. We need alternative products. We need to encourage people to save but we’ve got to help them make smart decisions about where they put their money,” he said.

Lifetime ISAs could be better value for many than traditional pension products, especially when it comes to those paying basic rate tax. “The numbers work out better for them to put money into a lifetime ISA than into a pension,” he said.

Digital solutions – such as robo investing platforms - are helping, he said. The growing popularity of consumer financial apps are also prompting consumers into better saving habits which could be translated into the workplace with savings taking directly from pay, he said.

Hollingdale said employers could do many things to help their staff better save. “In the workplace you are in a fantastic position to help disrupt the market. You can encourage employees to start saving. You can give them the convenience of saving through payroll deduction. You can give them the benefit of a contribution match and you can give them the comfort of your endorsement. That will encourage them to get saving,” he said.

This video was recorded at the REBA Innovation Day 2018, held in London on 22 November.

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