Guest blog: What are the challenges and opportunities for ageing and cognitive decline for financial services?

Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK, speaking at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016
Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK, speaking at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016

This guest blog was contributed by Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK. 

With over 10 million people in the UK over 65 and 850,000 people living with dementia, this is a crucial question, and one posed by the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing at their conference and symposium on 3 and 4 February.

Barclays was very pleased to sponsor this conference and play an active part in the discussions. Older people provide huge benefits to our society and economy, caring for children and volunteering their time. As one of the largest banks in the UK we have a diverse customer base and older customers make up a significant proportion- around a quarter of our current accounts are held by someone over 60. Continue reading “Guest blog: What are the challenges and opportunities for ageing and cognitive decline for financial services?”

Financial resilience as we approach retirement

This guest blog was contributed by Keith Richards, Chief Executive of the Personal Finance Society 

Pound coinsI have been involved in a series of consumer focused strategy meetings which formed part of a Financial Services Commission which was set up to examine how to improve financial resilience in later life – jointly chaired by Tom Wright, CEO of Age UK and Dr Alexander Scott CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Industry, consumer and regulatory leaders embraced the opportunity to debate and consider solutions to key later life financial challenges which included the dynamics of planning for later life, encouraging savings, changing public perception of industry trust, the development of good value and flexible financial products and increasing access to information and advice.

Continue reading “Financial resilience as we approach retirement”

Guest blog – Financial Resilience at Retirement: Maximising Income

This guest blog was contributed by Laurence Baxter, Head of Policy and Research at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Having looked at the next generation of pensioners in the first roundtable entitled Is it too late to save, the Age UK Financial Services Commission then turned its attention on 6 February to the early to middle years of retirement. Hosted by Mercer, leaders from across the financial services industry debated a number of hot topics which are summarised below.

Managing early retirement while considering the longer term

Individuals in the first decade of retirement face the potential for economic, lifestyle and health shocks, underlying the importance of financial resilience for this group. One complexity was the different types of pension pots people have as a result of multiple employers. There is the transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution, so some of pension  pots will be final salary schemes while others are money-purchase.  Changing patterns of retirement from a single watershed event to more of a process will also be significant.

While early retirement is not without its bends in the road, people in this group still need to be mindful of issues that could arise later in life such as long-term care and how or whether they use home equity.

Continue reading “Guest blog – Financial Resilience at Retirement: Maximising Income”

Financial resilience as we approach retirement: is it too late to save?

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This question was the starting point of Age UK’s first Financial Services Commission summit event on 6th December. It arose from forthcoming Age UK research which suggests that although those coming up to retirement are often seen as a wealthy and resilient generation, all but the most affluent face considerable challenges, and there is a widely prevalent feeling of uncertainty which deters saving.

The Commission – jointly chaired by Tom Wright, CEO of Age UK and Dr Alexander Scott CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute – was set up to examine how to improve financial resilience in later life.

At the event (hosted by BlackRock, the investment management firm) Tom challenged senior figures from the financial services industry, consumer and regulatory organisations to give their recipe for improving financial resilience among the group approaching retirement. The debate ranged between those who feel we need to build trust in the financial services industry and those who pointed to supply-side failures. So far, so unsurprising. But there was a new mood of optimism and – dare I say it – realism. Continue reading “Financial resilience as we approach retirement: is it too late to save?”

Age UK establishes commission on financial services

We are “woefully underprepared” for our ageing society. That was the conclusion of the House of Lords Select Committee chaired by Lord Filkin earlier in the year.

Central to that is the fact that people just aren’t saving enough for retirement and their later life.   New polling Age UK commissioned found that just under a quarter of people aged 50-64  –  those rapidly approaching state pension age  –  think there’s no point  saving.  Worryingly, that’s not because the majority have

Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Financial Services Commission
Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Financial Services Commission

already made provision for their future.  More than a quarter said they were worried about having enough to live on. Only 15 per cent thought they had saved enough already.

We also frequently hear from older people about the problems they face with money matters, and the lack of solutions that really work for older people. While auto-enrolment is a massive step forward, it will not have time to reap its full benefits for people close to retirement.

That’s why we’re launching the Financial Services Commission – which will be co-chaired by Tom Wright CEO of Age UK and Dr Alexander Scott of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Launching on December 5th, it will be take the form of a series of three summits in which we will work with key industry leaders and consumer experts to examine how to improve the “financial resilience” of older people – their ability to weather the challenges that might lie ahead. It will culminate in June next year with the publication of a roadmap of actions that regulators, government and industry need to take to help keep future and current pensioners financially resilient. Continue reading “Age UK establishes commission on financial services”

Age-friendly financial capability

This blog was contributed by Barbara Limon, Programme Manager – Private Sector, at Age UK. 

The Money Advice Service, the statutory body responsible for financial capability is currently developing a new strategy for the UK.  But just what does an age-friendly financial capability strategy look like?

Contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of stagnation, as we age we may need to adjust to events such as falling income, changing health, the need to care for a partner or bereavement.  At the same time, the external world continues to present new challenges, as technologies and the prevailing economic conditions change for good or ill.200x160_money

Age UK’s Planning for Later Life project, funded by Prudential, is designed to help people adapt to just some of these challenges.  Initially piloted with 11 local Age UKs across England and Wales, to date it has helped 2,590 older people through face to face advice sessions, home visits and telephone support. From January 2014 we will be rolling it out more widely. Continue reading “Age-friendly financial capability”