Pension Scams Hackathon winner announced

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Image: PensionBee

Last week, PensionBee, the UK’s leading online pension provider, brought together brilliant minds from across the UK’s “pentech” industry to challenge themselves to create a concept for an online game that increases awareness of pension scams, which last year saw victims lose an average of £82,000*.

The one-day event saw cross-company teams from some of the UK’s most ambitious digital pension platforms including PensionBee, Nutmeg, AgeWage and Smart Pension, combine their skills and work together to educate consumers about pension scams and how to protect against them.

Teams were given just six hours to deliver a unique set of ideas which met three assessment criteria: virality, engagement and relevance. Concepts were judged by three pensions industry experts: Michelle Cracknell CBE, Non-Executive Director at PensionBee and former CEO of the Pensions Advisory Service; Margaret Snowdon OBE, President of the Pensions Administration Standards Association and Chairman of the Pension Scams Industry Group; and Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Personal Finance Editor at The Telegraph.

The winning concept, called Scam Man & Robbin’, casts the player in the role of vigilante ‘Scam Man’, who’s main objective is to protect people’s pensions. It’s his job to identify which falling objects should be allowed to enter the three pension pots he has been tasked with protecting, and which objects he needs to blow the whistle on to avoid penalties.

Inspired by one of the world’s most-loved superheroes, Scam Man & Robbin’ aims to challenge common misconceptions which may initially seem positive about a pension scheme, such as guaranteed high returns or a friend’s recommendation, but may in fact be the hallmarks of a scam.

Scam Man & Robbin’ will now be built by technology firm JMAN Group, with input from PensionBee, Nutmeg, AgeWage and Smart Pension, with a view to making the product available to the public in early 2020.

Margaret Snowdon OBE, President of the Pensions Administration Standards Association and Chairman of the Pension Scams Industry Group said:

“We chose Scam Man & Robbin’ as our winning concept as it met our three judging criteria head on. The concept of “shining a light on scams” and choosing a vigilante as the protagonist, rather than a scammer or victim, were great themes with longevity. We also liked that the game will aim to raise awareness and protect those who know nothing about pension scams and the over-confident alike. We also feel that the retro design of Scam Man & Robbin’ will have mass-appeal, particularly among the most at-risk generations.”

Romi Savova, CEO at PensionBee, said:

“The Pension Scams Hackathon was a huge success, with all four concepts addressing the problem of pension scams in a fun and engaging way. We’re thrilled to be uniting some of the biggest innovators in pensions to bring this idea to life and look forward to sharing the resulting game with the public early next year.”

*According to research by the Financial Conduct Authority and Pensions Regulator, 8 November 2019

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