It can be difficult to think about the future when even tomorrow can be so unpredictable. For the team at Cushon bringing a new perspective to the pensions market is critical to helping employees better their financial wellbeing, secure their future and prepare them for whatever might be round the corner.
We caught up with Stephen Watson, Head of Proposition and Ben Hollingdale, Head of Sales to find out more about Cushon, what sets them apart from other pension providers and their exciting new product recently launched (and world first) “Net Zero Now” pension.
Can you describe Cushon in 30 seconds? What do you do?
We make saving for the future easier and more rewarding, by helping employees build healthy savings direct from pay with a range of pensions and savings options to suit any type of saver - all in one powerful app.
What makes Cushon different from other companies in the market?
Our tech sets us apart from the rest. We offer fully optimised, ready made CushonMix portfolios to make investing simple. And our CushonMe investment monitoring and alert service helps employees stay on top of their finances.
To set us apart even more from other workplace pensions and savings providers, we’ve just launched the world’s very first Net Zero Now pension. Unlike other providers who promise Net Zero by 2030 or 2050, our pension is Net Zero Now. We know this is what employees are looking for – over 62% say they would engage more if they knew their pension was having a positive impact on climate change.
Employees can even vote on the way the companies their pension is invested in conduct themselves. This means they can align their investments to their personal beliefs and interests – a better way to make pensions more engaging!
Our tech has a big part to play in both savings and pensions in that people want to manage these in the same way that they manage most things – via an app. We also provide timely nudges to remind employees to check in with their savings and allow them to easily make changes to keep them on track.
What is your typical customer profile?
We don’t have a ‘typical’ customer profile. Our products are suitable for all types of savers, so we appeal to everyone. We have a range of ISAs suited to different audiences, for example first time home buyers who choose our Lifetime ISA and parents who set up Junior ISAs to save for their children. Our solutions are designed to support employees whatever their financial needs. We make investing accessible with fully optimised, ready made portfolios, suitable for all, but particularly useful for new investors who can save from just £10 a month. And then at the other end of the scale we work with our clients to cater for their higher earners by supporting them with redirecting excess pensions contributions in a tax-efficient way.
How are companies using Cushon? Do you have any particular user case studies that you can share?
Our clients introduce Cushon workplace savings to help their employees save regularly direct from their pay to ensure financial resilience, which has never been more important. We know that 73% of employees agree that saving for short and mid-term needs is crucial to building financial resilience, whether for unexpected crises like the Covid-19 pandemic, or key life events like buying a first home. So, offering employees a holistic workplace savings solution that combines pensions and ISAs helps to support all employees and by default increases engagement with both shorter and longer-term savings. What also resonates with people is that our pension is Net Zero Now. So, while it’s giving employees the opportunity to save for their retirement in line with their own personal beliefs, it also means the company is making a huge difference to tackle climate change.
Many of our clients choose our pension redirect, allowing employees to redirect some of their pension contribution into an ISA, while still meeting auto enrolment minimum pension contributions. Often, employers will also match these contributions, which helps their younger employees get into the habit of saving.
We’ve also worked with clients to provide unique solutions to specific challenges they face. One of the big four international audit firms had low take up rates for the workplace ISA they offered their employees because employees had to continually monitor and disinvest funds in line with the client’s changing client base. We created a solution that means employees’ investments are constantly monitored and automatically switched when a fund is no longer allowed to be invested in because of becoming a client of the audit firm.
What are your most popular products? Have you adapted any of them as a result of the pandemic?
The most popular choice is our ISA. The beauty of our ISA is that you can set up as many separate ISA ‘pots’ as you like within a single Cushon ISA. This means employees can create individual pots for different savings goals, invest and save money across a range of different funds, and at different levels of risk. They can also choose to save some or all of their money in cash within the same account, rather than having to switch accounts to invest or set up a separate Cash ISA, which makes it easier for them to control their savings.
A big thank you to the Cushon team for sharing their journey and the exciting future ahead with their Net Zero Now pension launch.
If you would like to find out how Cushon can support your business, check out their website here.