Tsunami – make haste to higher ground!

You don’t need to be particularly clever to work out that in 2013 and 2014 , there are going to be a lot of purchasing decisions by employers if the “victorious” unblemished start to auto-enrolment is to be continued among medium and small to medium companies.

Advisers, project managers, pension providers,middleware suppliers, even payrolls may need to be changed/engaged.

And as demand increases, supply diminishes. The advisory ranks will dwindle at the end of the year as the impact of the Retail Distribution Review becomes apparent. The providers of competitive new pension products is dwindling too. While middleware suppliers are entering the fray, they are few in number and untested. Meanwhile the number of integrated payroll solutions that can asess and manage opt-outs remains alarmingly small.

The pensions “industry” that has been for year synonymous with over-supply, looks like it may be creaking under the demand of mass-market staging from Q2 2013 onwards.

What is more, many of the companies queuing at the manufacturer’s gates will be first time buyers with little understanding of the established procurement procedures which the providers of pension services are used to.

In short, we are looking at a purchasing crunch which I predict will hit pensions organisations within the next six months. This crunch will not abate till the back end of the decade when the enrolment surge subsides.

The pensions industry has done much to get its products fit for purpose, we are beginning to understand what “good” looks like and I’m getting really excited talking to my clients at the opportunities coming there way to improve pension outcomes for staff.

But we’ve done very little to make it easy for customers to access these products and services in an efficient way.

What’s needed is a simple means to make purchasing decisions. A trip advisor for the thousands of employers who will be staging auto-enrolment, re-engineering payroll processes, re-establishing pension plans and communicating change.

What is also needed is a sea-change in the attitude of those involved in advising on pensions from “product selling” to project managing this change.

The challenge for pension people is no longer distribution but in managing demand so that companies get the services and products they needed to their staging schedule.

This massive shift has not as yet been appreciated by my peers and I suspect that they will still be standing on the beach when the Tsunami arrives.

I , for my part, am heading to the hills to build some hospitals and shelters and to put some signs up in the low-lying areas warning of impending peril.

If anyone is interested in joining me in this enterprise, I would be most interested to talk with you. You know where to find me on LinkedIn , Gmail, outlook and twitter so there really is no reason for you not to be in touch!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to Tsunami – make haste to higher ground!

  1. Pingback: Project managing auto-enrolment | The Vision of the Pension Plowman

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