The crisis has worried us all. For many, the corona lockdown was a good way to rethink the priorities. Family, friends, and security are becoming important again, and this includes prevention. Startup FINABRO has invited the six insurance companies Allianz, Danube, Generali, ÖBV, Zurich and Wiener Städtische to a digital roundtable to discuss innovation in retirement provision in times of crisis.
Prevention is more relevant than ever
The pension industry is not the first thing most incubator readers think of – neither in terms of their own future nor in terms of digitalization. Big names like Uniqa, Wiener Städtische and Allianz as well as well-known startups like FINABRO, the digital distribution platform for companies and private pensions, have already invested heavily in digitization.
The roundtable focused on the crisis, digitalisation and new opportunities for corporate pensions. Why corporate pension systems? As the opportunity to make provisions through the employer in particular is very attractive and smart. Startups and companies can also work together here.
Digitization and provision in lock times
The pension sector is still very analogous, but the crisis has accelerated digitalisation. “There are many who have never dealt with digitalization and now they had no other choice. That is a huge potential,” says Christian Schuster, head of the company’s pension plan (bAV) at the Wiener Städtische Versicherung.
“If someone had said it was a shutdown two years ago, I would have said it would not work. And we’ve learned that it works. And it has given us a real acceleration for the whole community in the entire digitalization area, which you could not have imagined before, “confirmed Wolfgang Weisz, head of Allianz Elementar Lebensversicherung bAV and Erich Projer, head of organization for the company’s insurance group for the Austrian civil insurance (). : “I think this acceleration of the digital world will bring many benefits.”
Provide digital and analog
With all the added value that digitization can give us, one thing should not be neglected: “We definitely have the culture – and this is perhaps also a generational issue – that people like to sit opposite each other, especially when they negotiate contracts,” explains Michael Slechta, Head of BAV at the Danube Versicherung. And that’s basically a good thing. Since digitization should in no way replace personal contact and “sit at the table” together, but support where it makes sense “.
Experts believe that personal advice – especially with more complex products – cannot be replaced by digitalisation in pension savings. But digitization has great potential in terms of processing, simple advice and “self-service”.
“Personal counseling will continue to play a very important role – even in future sales. But it is a big change. Digitization will make a significant contribution to support sales,” stressed Wilhelm Rost, Senior Manager at the Generali Versicherung BAV. Gerhard Danler, Manager of bAV Zurich Insurance, also sees a lot of added value in the support during processing and sees a lot of potential here: “A combination of personal and digital, hand in hand, where the process for the consultant can be supported digitally, that is, a great advantage.”
The pension industry once again makes it clear that “personal and digital” is not “either or”, but can work together, really must. And while digitalization is still in its infancy in the industry, the potential is enormous and the first successful solutions are already showing. This includes the digital “300 € model” from FINABRO. This allows employees to register for the company’s pension system in five minutes, enabling them to secure a tax benefit – at no cost to the employer.
Responsible company: This is how the employees are rewarded properly
The last few months have been difficult for workers in many ways. Those part of the critical infrastructure were partially overloaded. Others, on the other hand, faced an uncertain future with short-term working and rising unemployment. Christian Schuster also emphasized: “There are industries that have won and industries that have lost” and added “But that the crisis would give some pension solutions more weight and attractiveness”.
This includes, for example, the “300 € model”, focusing on employee benefits, which companies can use to reward their employees for their efforts in this crisis. Above all, Michael Slechta emphasized: “Companies will think about which employees have taken me through the crisis and where are the best workers I absolutely need and whom I want to keep.”
Especially for those companies who want to offer their employees something, but at the same time have to look at the costs or even want to save additional salary costs, a company pension system with the 300 € model can be a very attractive alternative.