Our fifth annual conference brought together academics, industry and policy makers to discuss the current state of retirement saving in the UK, and look at what solutions could support savers through the challenges of the last year, to help them build financial resilience now, and in later life.

10:30 – 11:30am | Watch session

The Covid-19 crisis has had an impact on people’s work, incomes and costs of living. These effects have been unevenly distributed: some people have found themselves becoming ‘accidental savers’, spending less on commuting and going out but still working, and therefore ending up able to save more than in the past. Others have faced significant reductions in their income and have had to spend down savings or borrow to make ends meet.

This panel assessed the current ‘state of the nation’, what we’ve learned from the crisis, and what it means for how we support people to build, or rebuild, financial resilience in the years to come.

  • Moderator: Will Sandbrook, Nest Insight
  • Tom Clarkson, Blue Marble Research
  • Sarah Porretta, Money & Pensions Service
  • Jesal D. Sheth, University of Nottingham and Nest Insight

12pm – 1pm | Watch session

People’s capacity to save for retirement, and the choices they have about how to use those savings when they retire, are a function of their overall financial wellbeing. As an industry, we should therefore be interested in how to support pension savers in building overall financial resilience and health to give them the best possible platform for their retirement saving.

This panel explored the evidence for the link between short- and longer-term financial health, before going on to discuss innovations in the financial wellbeing sector, including Nest Insight’s own work on workplace emergency saving.

  • Moderator: Gavin Lewis, BlackRock
  • Ben Murphy, Atos
  • Jo Phillips, Nest Insight
  • Ellie Suh, University of Oxford and LSE

2pm – 2:45pm 

Katy Milkman is the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, host of Charles Schwab’s popular behavioural economics podcast Choiceology, and the former president of the international Society for Judgment and Decision Making.

She is the co-founder and co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative, a research centre with the mission of advancing the science of lasting behaviour change whose work is being chronicled by Freakonomics Radio. She recently published How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You are to Where You Want to Be, already a bestseller and one of Amazon’s ‘best books so far of 2021’.

  • Keynote: Professor Katy Milkman, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

3pm – 4pm | Watch session

Almost all workers are now saving for their retirement, thanks to the automatic enrolment reforms. But as people approach retirement, they face a wide range of choices about what to do with those savings, and many will need support in making decisions. Providing this support in the right ways and at the right times, and engaging savers in the tools and advice that are on offer, are critical challenges for the industry and for employers.

This panel explored the evidence for how people are currently making these decisions, before moving on to discuss what more can be done both in terms of research and by practitioners to make sure the right support is on offer and availed of.
  • Ellie Lugt, Behavioural Insights Team
  • Priya Khambhaita, NatCen
  • Matthew Blakstad, Nest Insight
In 2021, we live-streamed sessions from our annual conference for the first time. Replay the live stream: