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Government backs Mid-life MOT offered to Norwich staff

PUBLISHED: 13:19 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:00 12 April 2019

(L-R) Guy Opperman, minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion,with Lindsay Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at Aviva UK. Picture: Archant

(L-R) Guy Opperman, minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion,with Lindsay Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at Aviva UK. Picture: Archant

Archant

One of the region's largest employers has announced it is renewing its 'mid-life MOT' programme much to the delight of its government backers.

(L-R) Guy Opperman, minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion,with Lindsay Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at Aviva UK. Picture: Archant(L-R) Guy Opperman, minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion,with Lindsay Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at Aviva UK. Picture: Archant

Aviva’s project focuses on supporting staff in making decisions about their wealth, wellbeing and future work choices.

The initiative has been backed by work and pensions minister Guy Opperman who said that businesses able to provide a similar service “100% should”. The MP for Hexham said: “I absolutely think other big businesses like Aviva should be rolling out schemes like this.”

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Mr Opperman said he would prefer the initiative to catch on through “nudge” politics, with one example leading to other competitors following suit.

“I’m a big fan of nudge theory and would rather that than government legislation. But the government is working on an online version of this mid-life MOT for people who don’t have access to this expertise,” he added.

The scheme focuses on people over the age of 45, who may want to work more flexibly, plan for retirement, or change roles completely.

The insurers, which are based in Norwich’s Surrey Street, employ more than 1,500 over 45s, who between them have more than 30 years of commercial memory.

Alastair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “These people have worked in the company for 20 years, they know how to run things and how to do it the best way. It’s as important to the business as it is to the staff.

“I think when we introduced this, it was seen as a wind down to retirement talk, but it’s the opposite of that. We want to talk to people where their career can move after 50, if they want to start an apprenticeship, whether they want to work flexibly after retirement age.”

The mid-life MOT was fully booked when the pilot was launched last year with the next round starting in May.

Lindsay Rix, managing director of savings and retirement, said the team had been surprised by what the main focuses of staff had been.

“You’d think at a financial management business wealth would be the main focus that people wanted to talk about,” she said.

“But I think when people spend all day talking about other people’s money, they don’t have as much time to think about their own. We found that people were equally as interested in all aspects of the advice we were offering.”

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