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Creating savings prompts for the self-employed: Two day #SavingsTechSprint draws to a close

Almost 100 representatives from the pensions industry, fintech firms, banking, regulation and Government have collaborated with modern businesses such as Hermes and Uber to create a range of ideas to help the self-employed save for retirement.

During a two day Tech Sprint (March 26th and 27th) hosted by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury, teams looked at how technology could be used to make it easier for those who work for themselves to build up long-term savings.

Nearly 5 million people across Britain are self-employed but fewer than 1 in 5 is saving into a personal pension. This leaves many thousands of workers potentially facing problems financing their retirement.

The event drew to a close with teams being recognised for their achievements in four categories, and an overall winner was also announced.

  • Overall winners, team 5, included contributors from Bravura, Tata Consultancy Services, Trezeo and Prudential. They proposed using open banking to smooth out irregularities in self-employment income, while ear-marking funds for both a rainy day savings fund and for long-term savings.
  • Recognition for both innovation and simplicity went to team 9. Participants from NEST, Parmenion, SalaryFinance, Trezeo and the PLSA   proposed an app called SERGE that would plug into platforms such as Uber, Facebook and YouTube to help workers such as Uber drivers put money aside as they do particular jobs.
  • The consumer focus title went to team 3, from Hermes and LV=, for their work on an interactive pensions dashboard with an emphasis on empowering people by giving them complete control over what money went where, and would show them how it was accumulating.
  • Given the award for impact, since their idea was judged to have the potential to make the most difference to a worker’s life, was team 1. They suggested a new app, called Giggle, which would allow someone working for a number of gig employers to channel pension contributions through a single platform. They had team members from Moneysavingexpert.com, NEST, Prudential, Uber and the CBW Group.

The judges were Michelle Cracknell of the Pensions Advisory Service, Will Lovegrove of PensionSync and Chris Curry of the Pensions Policy Institute.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said:

“There are 4.8 million self-employed people in this country and it is important that this group are well prepared for retirement.

“It is vital that we support those who are currently under-saving to begin to build up a private pension. The best way to achieve this is by working closely with the industry and consumers to deliver new and innovative solutions that work for everyone.”

John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, said:

“Automatic enrolment has already brought over 9 million people into a workplace pension, but more needs to be done for the 15% of Britons who are self-employed to ensure that they can afford their ideal retirement. That’s why we hosted this event, to bring some of the brightest experts in the industry together under one roof to devise innovative new solutions that could improve the retirement lives of millions of Britons in future.”

Yvonne Braun, Director of Policy, Long-term Savings and Protection, ABI, said:

“We know that many self-employed people have more pressing concerns than thinking ahead to their finances in retirement and that they need very simple and engaging solutions. This event has shown the power of bringing together teams from a wide range of backgrounds to tackle this challenge. I was impressed by the teams’ focus on making retirement saving an easy part of everyday life, linking savings up with their ‘gigs’, and on giving workers access to straightforward information about how their savings were growing.”

The full list of companies which took part in the #SavingsTechSprint is:

Aquila Heywood




CBW Group

Clarence Services

Hargreaves Lansdown




NEST Insight

Old Mutual Wealth








Tata Consultancy Services







Notes for Editors


Enquiries to:
Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667
Sarah Cordey                           020 7216 7375    Mobile: 07860 189071
Dominic Stannard                     020 7216 7350    Mobile: 07889  641702
Melanie Fernandes                   020 7216 7660    Mobile: 07720497617


1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


2. An ISDN line is available for broadcast


3. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 28/03/2018