Our research thus far shows that education and knowledge are vital to making better financial decisions, especially when it comes to one’s pension health. In the final part of this series, we take a look at the constantly changing role that money and finances play in modern society, and how this impacts pension education and its future as an important pillar of overall financial health.
The economy, money and finance are ever-changing and the financial landscape does not look the same now as it did many years ago. Changes have happened more frequently than usual in recent times due to the pandemic and the impact it has had on the state of the economy.
When people are asked to talk about pensions and pension wellbeing, they may initially think of the lack of education available and lack of government support. Lack of engagement with pensions is a real problem and changes in the economy, although affecting pension health, are often more greatly associated with other financial milestones such as leaving the workforce. Pension health is often put on the backburner.
Even before the pandemic, people were very much in the dark about their pension wellbeing and have perhaps only started to prioritise it now that finances are more openly discussed and focused on. The future of peoples finances, especially their pensions, is often unpredictable and can change with the success of their employers business and the amount that they are comfortably able to contribute to their pension pot.
Having a solid foundation of pension education is vital given the uncertain financial and pension landscape that we all must navigate on a daily basis. Knowledge and understanding of money and pensions must be consistently improved and revisited over time so that people can keep up with current trends and be prepared for new opportunities and challenges before they arise.
The new opportunities
Due to the pandemic, employees may be inclined to review their finances and take stock of investments such as their pension fund. There is no better time to learn about pension wellbeing than after a major event such as the pandemic, as this has shaken up the economy drastically.
It is now easier than ever to manage your finances due to the invention of apps that allow you to save money easily and track your spending and budgeting habits. Our money is at our fingertips, with bank accounts now accessible on our smart phones via fingerprint recognition. Money can be transferred and received at the touch of a button.
The rise of challenger banks have enabled us to open bank accounts in minutes without having to provide a printout of a bank statement, or dig out a photocopy of your passport (a selfie will do) – this simply would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.
Nowadays, you can do anything from investing to applying for a mortgage, all in just a few simple taps. Technology has opened up a new age of money management, meaning that it’s never been easier to budget, save, and prepare for the future.
The new challenges
There is a dark side to these new opportunities.
With multiple jobs and pension providers – it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep track of all our pension pots and ensure that they are being optimised. The plethora of overwhelming and biased information has also made it more challenging to make positive, well informed decisions with certainty.
As we close this series, it’s clear how pension education can empower us to make better decisions and ultimately reach our dream lifestyle and retirement goals.
With the ever changing landscape of the economy and society, pension education is something that we have to nurture, like all aspects of our financial wellbeing. Accessing financial education that is unbiased is also critical to building confidence and helping people make better financial choices.
The pandemic has proved to business owners that people are their best assets and employers have an increasing duty of care for the workforce, as employees seek guidance they can trust. At work, pension education as a wellbeing solution is unique since it is inclusive – regardless of personal circumstances – it will benefit everyone as well as being a mutual benefit for business.
Nobody knows what the future holds, and as technologies and societal changes bring about opportunities and challenges in equal measure, the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves as well as we can.