Lorica goes live with next-generation benefits portal

Lorica is launching a workplace savings portal system offering employees real time access to their entire financial services portfolio and monthly utility outgoings through a single sign-on.

The system, called Bigblue, is believed to be the first workplace savings platform to go live with screen-scraped data from employees’ bank current and deposit accounts, credits, mortgages, Isa holdings and pensions with other providers. It also tracks employees’ expenditure on utilities such as TV and broadband, gas and electricity, showing links to better deals.

Bigblue gives employees a single figure view of their entire net worth, created by a live feed of the value of their property or properties from Zoopla, live feeds on all assets and offsetting real-time outstanding balances on current and mortgage accounts and credit cards. It also gives overall asset allocation summaries as well as data on the performance of individual funds and assets.

Lorica says the system will revolutionise the way employees engage with their benefits packages, and reports very early signs of an upswing in the exercise of new flex choices where Bigblue is in place.

The intermediary also says the market information that the system gives will allow it to target financial information at employees when they need it. It will understand which employees are set to hit the lifetime allowance for tax-relieved pension contributions, allowing the firm to arrange a seminar for these individuals on the subject that can be followed up with face-to-face sessions on an adviser charging basis. Employees can also be notified when they pass new tax thresholds. The system does not allow employers data on their employees’ finances.

The system, which is live but currently in early testing with four employers, is capable of facilitating pension transfers without advice where transfers are being made from stakeholder-compliant schemes.

It also contacts employees ahead of their named retirement date with information about open market retirement options.

The service is offered to employers at the rate of £10 per employee per year. Employees leaving the service of an employer can retain the service.

Lorica has also launched an auto-enrolment solution for the SME market offering employers with 50-250 staff

Lorica Employee Benefits director of flexible benefits and marketing Tobin Murphy-Coles says: “We are really excited about the potential of Bigblue as it allows us to understand much more about employees needs, allowing us to target benefits and financial education and assistance much more effectively. It allows us to pick people at the moment they need our help rather than having to target everyone.

“Others may go a D2C route. We think the right way is via the employer. You have to be provider agnostic in your approach – it is important for the intermediary to control the governance of the client journey, not the provider.”