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  • moneygym aims to increase employee engagement with retirement  and wider financial planning
  • Free Virtual Assistant video service added to enhance moneygym

Portus has launched the first “robo guidance” solution for employees with the expansion of its moneygym service to include a video Virtual Assistant.

The video guidance service – which is accessible at work and at home around the clock – is designed to be as good as a one-to-one meeting for the majority of users.

moneygym already enables users to track retirement savings including private and State pensions as well as other investments including property. The Virtual Assistant provides guidance on all aspects of retirement planning including tax and regulation, enhancing the service on the award-winning portal.

moneygymusers enter confidential details of their finances including pension savings, other investments and target retirement dates; their information is secure and not accessible by their employer. They can then see their predicted long term income, and model changes to alter the outcome.

Portus estimates around 80% of employees will be able to make retirement planning decisions based on the Virtual Assistant guidance, reducing the need for employers to fund advice in the workplace and for employees to pay for advice.

moneygym, which has been purchased by employers for more than 6,000 employees, aims to increase financial literacy levels and employee engagement with retirement planning and help staff to build up enough funds to retire at their target age.

Portus Consulting Commercial Director Steve Watson says: “Independent financial advice is valuable for some people, but the majority of employees cannot afford it.

“Financial guidance does not have to be complicated, and it should not involve throwing every aspect of retirement planning at users and leaving it up to them to make complex decisions.

“The aims of the Virtual Assistant and moneygym are to increase engagement with pensions and other investments, and to enable employees to see all their assets in one place and plan their retirement with everything in view.”

The system sends alerts to users when they are close to exceeding annual pension contribution allowances, enabling them to avoid potential tax charges. Launched as RetirePort, it won Best Use of Technology for Benefits at the 2016 Workplace Savings & Benefits awards.

Employees can use the portal to outline scenarios on increasing pension contributions, for instance, and the impact on how they decide to take retirement income. They can retain access to the service if they leave their job.

Employees enter and update monthly expenses as well as property ownership or rental costs, debts or savings, and health data including exercise, smoking and alcohol intake. Life expectancy is calculated using the death data run against mortality tables.

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