A Christmas appeal to pension providers — help make your customer’s lives easier and simpler

We are unpredictable. We don’t do what we are told. We don’t do it on time.

This is because, in reality, our lives are messy. We have hundreds of demands each day which need to be prioritised and dealt with. But, the pensions industry is built on process, regulation and paperwork. How could it possibly accommodate these slippery, tricky people?

I set out a number of months ago to move pensions. It was an unmitigated disaster. I am the typical customer who expects businesses to work hard at making my life easier. Much to my Millenial surprise, my pension provider was completely unable to deal with my errors, missed deadlines and uncompleted forms.

What my pension didn’t understand is that most customers have many more important things to deal with than their pensions. We need big businesses that have the flexibility and resilience to deal with real customers and their nightmarish patterns. Businesses that have the ability to cater for the disengaged, unorthodox and difficult are the ones that will succeed.

Grappling with a pension providers systems

This is a map of my journey through my pension. It shows how my missed documents/deadlines had an exponential impact on the pension providers ability to support me. It highlighted issues with their systems, visibility of information, policy variations and contradictions and inconsistent employee quality. I was told on 4 separate occasions that what I was requesting was impossible, only to persist until they found a way. We, as customers, have to be able to negotiate big businesses systems in order to complete basic tasks.

This is a sector that will be disrupted by startups who have built flexible and resistant systems, who understand their customers lives and how to keep it simple and easy, like Nutmeg. Perhaps in a few years, when the trauma from this experience has subsided, I will dive back into the complex world of pensions and transfer my allegiances. In the meantime, I plan to keep my head low and avoid interactions at all costs…