United Kingdom

Aon partners with SmarterInvestment and Unum to help employees invest in tax-efficient stocks & shares ISAs simply and wisely

February 2017


  • New research shows 47% of employees feel that investments and savings are complicated
  • 52% would consider managing savings and investments more if it were simpler
  • SmarterInvestment enables employers to offer their employees stocks & shares ISAs through the workplace
  • ISA investment allowance deadline is 5 April

Aon Employee Benefits is to partner with SmarterInvestment and Unum to offer workplace ISAs. SmarterInvestment will be available in Aon Plus voluntary benefits, flexible benefit programmes, Aon's Bigblue Touch Group Personal Pension, as well as the Aon MasterTrust shortly.

Unum research found that almost a quarter (23%) of employers are considering offering workplace ISAs, with just 4% of companies currently offering them. However, 82% of employers say they are 'somewhat' or 'not at all' knowledgeable about workplace ISAs as a way of helping employees.

Manesh Patel, senior consultant Aon, said:
"SmarterInvestment helps demystify investing in stocks and shares ISAs. Many employees are unlikely to be getting the best financial outcomes because the confusion and complexity of investing in workplace ISAs had previously created a barrier. Consumers generally had two options – either work out what to do for themselves, which isn't attractive because of the time investment, or speak to a financial adviser, which is often resisted if they don't already have a trusted relationship. The result is that many give up on the idea before getting started."

Market studies show that 'reluctant investors' are ones who are aware that investing is sensible, but find the process tedious. These individuals tend to be in Social group ABC1, homeowners (often with a mortgage), established in their careers and pre-retirement and often in long-term relationships with children. They also have no established relationship with a financial adviser, but are comfortable with internet usage. SmarterInvestment works to support people who know they need to invest wisely but need a simple and trusted route.

Aon's 2016 Financial Mindset Study shows that employees believe employers should help with saving for retirement. Alongside, Aon's Defined Contribution Member Survey 2016 which found that 60% of people say they will follow what is offered by their employer when choosing where to save. SmarterInvestment has ready-made diversified portfolios of top-rated funds, simply outlining to employees what their good, bad and most-likely investment case scenario is for each fund. It also provides a free monitoring and alert service, so employees know if their portfolio has moved out of balance with their risk appetite or if better-projected returns are available in alternative investments.

Peter O'Donnell, Unum UK CEO, said:
"With financial wellbeing rising up the corporate agenda, the ability to provide employees with vehicles to save or invest money through their workplace is becoming increasingly important. There is a clear appetite from both employers and their employees for workplace ISAs, not least with so many legislative changes in pensions and ISAs, and we know that a well-balanced employee benefits package is a vital way businesses can support their workforce."

Ben Pollard, actuary and founder, SmarterInvestment, said:
"Our partnership with Aon reflects the growing need for easily accessible and simple saving solutions. New research by Unum has revealed that almost half [47%] of employees feel that investments and savings are complicated, and that 52% would consider managing their savings and investments more if it were simpler. SmarterInvestment's workplace ISA has been deliberately designed to respond to these needs and simplify the process."



Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.