The results of our surveys have been startling, highlighting a chasm between what savers expect to attain and the reality. The shortfall is especially clear in retirement saving, with few Britons confident of living comfortably in old age. We call this the ‘Savings Gap’ and our mission is to close it.
Our research has made it clear that saving in the UK needs a fundamental change. Not only do we need better saving products, we need better saving habits.
At True Potential, we see three gaps that need to close:
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Savers need simpler savings and investment products. We have long made this case in Westminster and were happy to see the Chancellor take action in 2016. The introduction of the lifetime ISA, which offers subsidised routes to saving for both first time home buyers and those saving for retirement, are in line with what we have been campaigning for at True Potential..
Although the ISA allowance is set to rise to £20,000 in 2017, there is still more we can do. We believe the ISA cap should increase to £25,000 per year and that pensions need to be simpler, more transparent and more accessible. We’re therefore campaigning for a ban on pension exit fees and a cap on Annual Management Charges.
Many Britons have little to no financial education to help them make important decisions regarding their future wealth. In Spring 2016, we launched the third of our free personal finance courses in conjunction with the Open University.
‘Managing My Money’ and ‘Managing My Investments’ and ‘Managing My Financial Journey’ are free and open to everyone. To date, over 100,000 learners have registered for the courses, which are available to take anytime on the Open University’s OpenLearn platform. The ‘Managing My Money’ course was also broadcast on Share Radio throughout the autumn of 2015.
Britons are used to technology being part of their daily lives, it’s how we buy books, films and even our weekly shop. That’s why we launched impulseSave®, a first-of-its-kind technology that brings a modern and convenient approach to saving and investing.
With impulseSave®, savers can top up their investments from as little as £1 wherever and whenever they like. We have seen an excellent response to this technology, with over a quarter of all impulseSave® investments under £10.
Today, we are all far more connected digitally, but too often our finances are fragmented between multiple investments and savings accounts. The government is now developing a ‘dashboard’ tool that can bring savers’ pots of money together, something we already have available to over 45,000 private clients.
True Potential One® is our financial planning system that brings client savings and investments into one convenient location. We believe in simplicity and empowering clients to reach their financial goals, and True Potential One® offers both.
‘Tackling the Savings Gap’ is an ongoing and long-term project to change the way the UK approaches saving and investment. Our results show there must be a fundamental shift in attitudes to saving if Britons are to live comfortably in retirement.
There is no quick-fix to the problem, but we can start making changes today. Personal finance has been on the national curriculum from September 2014, but we won’t see the benefits for many years. We are filling that gap with our free personal finance courses,’Managing My Money‘, ‘Managing My Investments‘ and ‘Managing My Financial Journey‘.
With technology, we are putting savers in control through our personal client sites and True Potential Investor – allowing them to access and top-up their investments at the touch of a button. We think that products like impulseSave® can help shift Britons’ attitudes from impulse spending to impulse saving.
Our campaign to tackle the UK’s Savings Gap continues and we will produce further surveys each quarter to monitor the results. We will keep campaigning at Westminster for better savings products and simpler regulations. Only a joined-up strategy stands any chance of solving the problem and there is not a moment to waste.
Your capital is at risk. Investments can fluctuate in value and you may not get back the amount you invest. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Tax rules can change at any time.