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2022 - Q1

Renaissance - Redefining Research

New beginnings & a renaissance for Synaptic

In this edition...

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Pension switching. The pinnacle of research and the mainstay of financial advice

Matthew Howe
Account Manager, Synaptic

Synaptic logoAdvisers earn a significant amount of their revenue through advice linked to pensions. In many cases it is the majority of their income. Pension advice is the mainstay of financial planning and its success will determine the quality of financial outcomes for clients in retirement. It follows that no area of advice is more reliant on accurate and reliable research to help achieve those outcomes.

Consider the typical pension switching case for an adviser or paraplanner. They may be maintaining several systems to conduct the research and establish an audit trail which will entail the re- keying of data. They will try and knit together a repeatable and robust process from systems that do not integrate and may not even be compatible. These include Attitude to Risk Questionnaires, asset allocation models, product research, fund research, CRM, pension switching tools and spreadsheets, to collate the data and do the cost analysis. They still have the challenge of how to collate the analysis in order to demonstrate the suitability of the recommendation. This is a laborious process that is open to error. Firms have cobbled together idiosyncratic methods of working using archaic technology and leaning heavily on the multi-tasking skills of administrators.

The alternative is to complete the task in Synaptic Pathways. From start to finish. One log in, one tool and a fully integrated process.

What is Synaptic offering that is so different?

  1. Send an automated email to a client inviting them to complete an ATRQ, calculate and identify their risk profile category, the results of which are automatically saved on the system.
  2. Enter a ceding policy, or policies, for consolidation – either manually or using an automated Valuations service.
  3. Create a proposal for the receiving scheme that includes all the research elements required for MiFID II compliance, including illustration of investment outcome to establish suitability and full costs and charges
  4. Offer projections using separate COBS approved methodologies - stochastic projections from Moody’s Analytics and deterministic projections using actuarial growth rates. Manual, multiple growth rates also supported to ensure research can be aligned with any Provider illustrations.
  5. Produce a consolidation report when you are switching more than one pension, including a critical yield calculation and hurdle rate for individual ceding pensions as well as combined values.
  6. Give you the choice of working ‘whole-of- market’ or in alignment with your ‘Central Investment Proposition’, matching PROD compliant investment solutions with target market?
  7. Provide ‘value for money’ calculations including ‘total solution cost’ comparisons based on Reduction in Yield calculations for various platform and / or off platform options?
  8. Based on your client’s specific investment scenario, provide a range of stochastic forecasts detailing all viable investment outcomes presented as probability-based graphs, so that you can file for compliance and proof of suitability, and also share with clients to secure informed consent.
  9. Provide Moody’s Analytics ‘Value at risk’ metrics in order to quantify a client’s Capacity for Loss.
  10. Allow you develop portfolio options that are automatically balanced in-line with a target risk profile.
  11. Give you the option to move seamlessly at any time into a draw down illustration with a cashflow projection including a stochastic calculation for the maximum sustainable income.

If you have scored 100%, then congratulations, you must be using Pathways! If not, we would be delighted to talk to you to discuss how Synaptic tools can help your firm. Request a free trial at

Landing page of Synaptic Pathways

The landing page for the new Synaptic Pathways research and due diligence suite. Readers familiar with Salesforce will recognise the user interface.

Switching functionality in Synaptic Pathways

Key components of the Synaptic Switching analysis, including ceding scheme (or schemes in the case of consolidation) on the left, the receiving, or 'target' scheme central, from which the user can proceed to a full illustration, and the green tile, which provides a table of results from which a comparison of the two scenarios can be made.