The minister for pensions and financial inclusion Guy Opperman has expressed his support of recent workplace ‘mid-life MOT’ pilots.
Following recommendations of a mid-life MOT in the Cridland Report, Opperman (pictured) voiced his approval of Aviva’s recent trial.
Discussing a recent meeting with Opperman, Aviva head of retirement policy Alistair McQueen told New Model Adviser® that the minister was ‘enthusiastic’ about Aviva’s internal work so far.
‘It was great to be able to share our experience of the mid-life MOT with the pensions minister, and share our enthusiasm. Aviva will continue to work with the Department for Work and Pensions and other enthused parties, as we consider how a mid-life MOT could benefit the record number of older workers in the UK,’ McQueen said.
With record UK employment rates, as reported by the ONS yesterday (14 August), and a third of the UK workforce set to be aged 50 and over by 2030, employers are being urged to increase their commitment to older staff.
Aviva’s mid-life MOT pilot involved a series of seminars on wealth, work and wellbeing targeting 100 employees aged between 45 and 60. Out of the initial test sample, 94 employees who participated reported that the sessions had been successful in increasing their career and financial confidence and called for this to be introduced earlier.
At the end of the wealth session, employees were made aware of Aviva’s internal financial advisers or were directed to unbiased to select an adviser of their choosing if they sought further guidance.
‘All mid-life MOT participants were introduced to the advantages of financial advice. Those without an existing adviser relationship were offered a free, non-committal introductory meeting with an Aviva adviser…For those employees who preferred not to discuss their finances with an Aviva adviser, we made them aware of other avenues such as unbiased.co.uk. By making our employees aware of the options and subtleties associated with managing their money, we believe we are also making them better appreciate the value of financial advice,’ McQueen said.
He added that Aviva plans to make recommendations to the government on its findings from the pilot. It also intends to make the seminars/mid-life review available to the majority of its staff in this age bracket next month.
While it is unclear whether the government will mandate workplaces to offer mid-life MOTs for staff.
Aviva managing director savings and retirement Lindsey Rix said: ‘We urge government, employers and industry to work together to encourage people to sustain longer, productive and healthy working lives while considering their financial position.
‘Our ambition is to help create the right conditions for people to see opportunities through the uncertainties that come with longer working lives, so they can continue to progress at work and lead fulfilling careers, regardless of their age.’
A DWP spokesperson said: 'Helping people engage more with and take control of their finances throughout their career can help them plan for the retirement they want.
'We encourage employers to help their employees to understand their pension options and plan for the future.'