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Best Apps To Manage Your Pension

There aren’t a lot of people terribly excited about workplace pension schemes. Giving up something today to save for tomorrow seems to go against instinct for many people.

Under new laws from 2012, auto-enrolment became the requirement for the largest companies, which is good news. But simply enrolling in a pension scheme isn’t enough.

People have to set goals, watch how their workplace pension contributions are growing, and see whether they’re hitting the target amount before retirement.

Now with the surge of smartphone apps, people can become more involved with the future of their finances. In fact, it’s already been happening; when a pension scheme administrator offered a smartphone app, the number of people registering to use the app soared.

Smartphone apps offer a convenient snapshot of projected benefits, investment types and decisions, recent transactions, and more. There are proprietary apps for pensions administered by different companies. “Track My Pension” by Towers Watson and apps from Standard Life and Aviva are examples of these proprietary apps.

Then there are more general apps that are not affiliated with any specific company, but still helpful in their own way. Here are two apps in that category:


BenPal is an iPhone app developed by JLT Benefits Solutions. It is in fact one of the very first apps of its kind. It’s an interactive modelling app that sort of works as a “decision making” tool.

When you enter your data (age, salary, pension details) into this app, it’ll instantly spit out a graphical representation of your retirement fund. From there, you can drag things around to see how much you need to contribute to receive an X amount when you retire.

This visual approach makes it vivid for people to figure out where they need to make changes and makes the planning process more within grasp.

Pension Tracker

Pension Tracker is an Android app. It has several features including:

  • Multiple users
  • Multiple funds
  • A snapshot of funds
  • Automated balance downloads
  • Goal-setting
  • Graphical representation of funds

It’s fairly basic as it only works with current data and doesn’t give projections, but it works well for people with multiple pension schemes from switching jobs.

It goes without saying that smartphone apps do have drawbacks. When people’s pension data is accessible 24/7 in a tiny hand-held device, it’s hard to beat the temptation to look at it and obsess over minute details.

This is especially bad when the times get tough and investments don’t perform as well as people would like. Smartphone apps make it all too easy to draw attention to day-to-day changes of the market, making people stressed and worried.

Then there’s more insidious side-effect – people actually opting out of their pension schemes. They opt out digitally because there’s a lack of trust in many pension companies to process the opt-out request.

The bright side is that the number of people registering to track their workplace pension schemes through smartphone apps are far greater than people opting out. Apps make future finances more tangible and easy to grasp, which will undoubtedly motivate people to contribute more or pivot as necessary.

Gary Keeley is the founder of The Workplace Pension Consultancy, which provides advice and consultation for SMEs who are looking to set up auto-enrolment for their staff.

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