Retirement Essentials, a fintech startup founded by ex-Challenger executive Paul Rogan, will expand nationally following a successful pilot launch in Newcastle in early 2018.
The innovative digital service helps everyday Australians retirees calculate their eligibility and apply for their age pension. The service aims to solve a big frustration for seniors – dealing with Centrelink.
For Rogan, the visionary company is committed to addressing the neglected market of retirement age Australians who’ve worked hard, aren’t millionaires and deserve a fair go. The company is targeting this gap in the market of Australians who have traditionally been ignored or under-serviced by the financial services industry. Rogan stepped down from his role as Chief Executive, Distribution Marketing Research at ASX-listed investment management firm Challenger Limited to in mid-2017 to focus on creating Retirement Essentials.
Rogan joined Challenger in November 2005 to become the company’s Group Chief Financial Officer moving to the role of Executive General Manager, Capital Risk and Strategy in 2008. For the majority of his time with Challenger he led the Distribution, Product and Marketing division through a phase of rapid growth.
He remains active in the wealth management industry and is also an investor in other fintech startups including SuperEd and Frollo. In December 2017, he was appointed a non-executive director at the fast growing platform HUB24 Limited.
Rogan is backed by a team of industry experts, including Business Development & Strategy Director Greg Hansen. Hansen is driven by a belief that there’s a better way to help Australians maintain their desired standard of living in retirement and achieves this by delivering advice that puts Retirement Essentials members in control of their retirement finances without the expense and difficulties associated with the traditional process.
Intent on creating a trusted consumer brand Rogan recruited ex-Coca-Cola marketing executive, Antoinette Tyrrell as Chief Customer Officer to lead the development of a truly human-centred, insight-driven customer experience.
Retirement Essentials’ service provides seniors with a quick way to check whether they’re eligible for the age pension and an intuitive online application system that simplifies the hundreds of questions Centrelink asks. Members’ information is then used to complete the application forms, which are conveniently delivered to their homes for them to sign and lodge with Centrelink.
Newcastle was chosen for the pilot due to its high concentration of Australians aged 60 to 69. Based on feedback from customers in Newcastle, Retirement Essentials is poised to expand nationally in the June quarter of 2018.
“When we started out we had a number of preconceived retirement product concepts of what our target market needed. However, when we asked consumers what problems they wanted solved, their biggest frustration was dealing with Centrelink when applying for their age pension,” Mr Rogan said.
Using cutting-edge technology and an experience designed specifically for retirees, the website offers its members a step-by-step guide to making better financial decisions. To ensure members’ privacy, the platform uses a secure online process that has similar security features to myGov and online banking.
“Our digital technology and Australian retirement specialist capabilities put us in a great position to help retirees in a smarter, more cost-effective way. Our innovation both increases the accessibility and affordability of a crucial social service to a large number of seniors who we know are seeking help. A downstream benefit of the service is it can deliver efficiencies for Centrelink. ” Mr Rogan said.
Pivotal to the service is ensuring eligible retirees benefit from the security the Age Pension provides.
“We heard stories from retirees who were so frustrated they simply gave up, even though they knew they were eligible. But the pension is critical to them because it delivers a safety net to help meet their regular bills. To address this problem, we’ve created a scalable service, based on leading human-centred design thinking, which is very intuitive and easy to use,” Mr Rogan explained.
Using the website, the fee for an age pension application is $330 . After three months, there’s a $20  monthly membership fee which provides access to regular updates on any changes to the age pension and how that impacts them, help in their ongoing communications with Centrelink, as well as regular newsletters and blogs, and educational content.
The tailored content and benefits were developed in consultation with industry experts.
“In developing this innovative digital solution, we partnered with Supered to build our technology platform and Dijgtal, who have helped us create a unique user experience designed for seniors with seniors. Our service has also been expertly guided by an advisory panel comprising former Centrelink officersincluding Newcastle-based business advisor Phil Usher and Melbourne-based retirement consultant Glenn Smith-Cameron, who between them have 46 years of age pension experience,” Mr Rogan explained.
ABOUT RETIREMENT ESSENTIALS
Retirement Essentials is an Australian fintech founded by Paul Rogan 2017 and is based in North Sydney. A seasoned financial services executive, Paul was concerned that a large number of Australians were entering retirement without the support they needed to make the most of their hard-earned savings. Paul boasts 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to establishing Retirement Essentials, he was a senior executive with a number of large financial institutions including MLC, NAB and Challenger Limited.
Retirement Essentials’ expertise lies in assisting everyday Australians who are in, or transitioning to, retirement. Its purpose is to give every day Australians access to affordable retirement advice that improves their quality of life, because they deserve it – starting with a smarter way to get and keep their age pension.
 Excludes GST