This webinar will inform pension holders and workplaces about how to navigate the financial uncertainty driven by COVID-19 and political upheaval, and how to mitigate these risks for financial wellness in retirement.


As the largest long term savings and retirement company in the UK, and the largest life and pension consolidator in Europe, the Phoenix Group serves 14 million policyholders. Workplace Managing Director Gail Izat will lead this discussion with input from Sharon Smyth, Head of Marketing for Standard Life Ireland and Ross Matthews, Director of Pensions and Benefits in Europe at Centrica.

The session will cover:

  • Key trends as a result of COVID-19 including changes in attitudes towards retirement
  • Changes in member behaviour and what the industry can do to support through these tumultuous times
  • How to support people to prepare for the retirement they want both financially and emotionally, including helping people use their talents in retirement and live with a sense of purpose
  • How employers can support employees through changing times by ensuring financial wellness is a key part of their employee proposition


Expert Speakers


Gail Izat, Workplace Managing Director, Phoenix Group

Gail Izat, Workplace Pensions Director, Standard Life Assurance, part of Phoenix Group 300xGail joined Standard Life in June 2010 and has fulfilled a number of roles across the company.
Until January 2019 she was the CEO of Standard Life Germany and Austria, and on her return from Germany she was appointed as the Workplace Pensions Director for Standard Life Assurance (part of the Phoenix Group). In September 2020 she took up the role of Workplace Managing Director, leading the newly formed Workplace Business Unit.

Sharon Smyth, Head of Marketing, Standard Life Ireland

Sharon Smyth, Head of Marketing, Standard Life Ireland 300xSharon is Head of Marketing for Standard Life in Ireland. While it’s still a long way off for her, Sharon is passionate about helping people live their best life in retirement, via simple steps and great financial advice. Sharon and her team have successfully positioned Standard Life as the brand redefining pension planning in Ireland with their award winning Second Life campaign.

Ross Matthews, Director, Pensions & Benefits (Europe), Centrica

Ross Matthews, Director, Pensions & Benefits (Europe), Centrica 300x-1Ross is responsible for overseeing the wide range of pensions and benefits for Centrica in Europe, primarily focused on its 20,000 UK-based employees. As well as supporting the Group in managing its Defined Benefit pensions risk, a key focus area at present is integrating pensions and benefits into the wider wellbeing strategy and increasing engagement amongst colleagues in an ever complex environment.


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