The pensions industry is not seen as being at the forefront of technology compared to other financial sectors. Is this a fair reputation?
It is, but the pensions industry has had a lot of other things to think about, such as changes to regulations, provider mergers and acquisitions and scheme changes. Largely as a result of that, there has been an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality. The result is a mish mash of technologies depending on which administrator or system provider has been used over the years. Technology has changed quickly, but some admin systems are now 40 years old with their core product relatively unchanged. Some systems have adapted and kept pace with change, but others have not. So even now, online self-service is proving difficult for some schemes to implement. This all gives the trustees, sponsoring employers and pension managers a difficult task as to how to best adapt their technology strategy. So, yes, not being at the forefront of technology is a fair reputation.